Chandra 101: Overview for Teachers and Students A Look at X-Rays
Why can't we have earthbound X-ray observatories?
X-ray observatories must be placed high above the Earth's surface because the
Earth's atmosphere absorbs x-rays. This means that the ultra-precise mirrors and
detectors -- together with the sophisticated electronics that convey the
information back to Earth -- must be able to withstand the rigors of a rocket
launch and operate in the hostile environment of space.