Hubble Telescope

The Retiree Club


An organization of retirees and other former employees of The Perkin-Elmer Corporation
The Retiree Club, P.O. Box 108, Norwalk, CT 06852-0108


Chandra X-ray Observatory


Did you know the most precision optics made in the world were made by Perkin-Elmer for the X-Ray Telescope?

At that time the program was called AXAF and subsequently changed to Chandra X-ray Observatory


The Chandra X-ray Observatory is part of NASA's feet of "Great Observatories" along with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitizer Space Telescope and the now deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Chandra allows scientists from around the world to obtain unprecedented X-ray images of exotic environments to help understand the structure and evolution of the universe. Already surpassing its five-year life, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is rewriting textbooks and helping advance technology. The Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight-times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

3C305: An Intriguing Glowing Galaxy


The Chandra telescope system consists of four pairs of mirrors and their support structure.

X-ray telescopes must be very different from optical telescopes. Because of their high-energy, X-ray photons penetrate into a mirror in much the same way that bullets slam into a wall. Likewise, just as bullets ricochet when they hit a wall at a grazing angle, so too will X-rays ricochet off mirrors.

The mirrors have to be exquisitely shaped and aligned nearly parallel to incoming X-rays. Thus they look more like glass barrels than the familiar dish shape of optical telescopes. They are the smoothest and cleanest mirrors ever made.

Links

Harvard.edu About Chandra.
AXAF High Resolution Mirror (HRMA)