Purdue University - Department of Physics and Astronomy - General Colloquium
Six Years of Science with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Thursday September 22, 2005


Dr. Martin C. Weisskopf
Project Scientist, Chandra X-ray Observatory Chief Scientist for X-ray Astronomy, Marshall Space Flight Center

The Chandra X-ray Observatory had its origins in a 1963 proposal led by Riccardo Giacconi that called for a 1-meter diameter, 1-arcsecond class X-Ray telescope for studying the Universe in X-rays. We will briefly discuss the history of the mission, the development of the hardware, its testing, and the launch on 1999, July 23. The remainder of the talk will be an admittedly eclectic review of some of the most exciting scientific highlights. These include the detection and identification of the first source seen with Chandra - an unusual Seyfert 1 we nicknamed Leon X-1, the detailed study of the Crab Nebula and its pulsar, and spectacular images of other supernova remnants including a 1-Million second exposure on Cas A. We also will summarize some of the major Chandra findings for normal and active galaxies and we will illustrate the breadth of science enabled by Chandra observations of clusters of galaxies and then implications for cosmology. Brief bio