Chandra flies 200 times higher than Hubble - more than 1/3 of the way to the moon!
Explanation: For the planned operational orbit of Chandra, the closest approach to Earth and the most distant point from Earth will be as follows:
Altitude at Perigee (closest approach) = 10,000 km = 6,214 (statute) mile = 5,400 nautical mile
Altitude at Apogee (most distant point from Earth) = 140,000 km = 86,992 (statute) mile = 75,594
For reference, Mean radius of Earth = 6,371 km = 3,959 (statute) mile = 3,440 nautical mile
Chandra can observe X-rays from clouds of gas so vast that it takes light five million years to go from one side to the
Explanation: If we assume conservatively that a cluster extends out to a radius of 1 Mpc, then it has a diameter of 2 Mpc, or 6 million light years.
During maneuvers from one target to the next, Chandra slews more slowly than the minute hand on a clock.
Explanation: According the CXC Observatory Guide, it takes Chandra 31 minutes to slew 90 degrees. It takes the minute hand on a clock 15 minutes to slew 90 degrees.
Explanation: For comparison, the Hubble Space Telescope was just over 43 feet long.
If Colorado were as smooth as Chandra's mirrors, Pikes Peak would be less than one inch tall!
Assume optics size = 84 cm
Assume rms low frequency figure errors are < 100a = 1e-6 cm
Assume size of Colorado= 600 km = 6 E7 cm
Then the ratio of the (rms errors)/(optics size) < 1.2 e-8
Assuming that there will be one 3 sigma peak in 1000 trials (the approx.
number of measurements of the figure), then the ratio is < 3.6e-8.
Then the largest mountain (which is not Pikes Peak, but is not much taller than Pikes Peak) in Colorado would be < 2.2 cm < 1 inch.
Chandra's resolving power is equivalent to the ability to read a stop sign at a distance of twelve miles.
Explanation: The letters on a stop sign are 25 cm high. Assuming that we need a 5 x 5 pixel square, then the resolution element is 5 cm high, which would subtend an angle = 0.5 arcsec at a distance D = 5/2.5E-6 = 2 E6 cm = 20 km = 12 miles.
The electrical power required to operate the Chandra spacecraft and instruments is 2 kilowatts, about the same power as a hair dryer.
Explanation: A standard hair dryer uses 1600-1800 watts (slightly less than 2 kilowatts) on its high setting.
The light from some of the quasars observed by Chandra will have been traveling through space for ten billion years.
Explanation: If we take a Hubble constant of 60 km/sec-Mpc, then the Hubble time is approx 16 billion years, so for a quasar at z > 3, the look back time, depending on Omega, is greater than 10 billion years.
STS-93, the space mission that deployed Chandra, was the first NASA shuttle mission commanded by a woman.
Explanation: Commander Eileen Collins was the first woman to command a NASA shuttle mission.
Chandra can observe X-rays from particles up to the last second before they fall into a black hole!!!
Explanation: The last stable orbit for a Schwarzchild metric is 6GM/c^2 ~ 10^7 cm for a 10 solar mass black hole. The time to fall in from this point on is ~ 0.001-.01 seconds, depending on the details of the orbit of the infalling particle.