Q&A: Chandra Mission
Why the length of time between Chandra seeing and us seeing on
the site? For example, the quasar pairs were seen by
Chandra in 2000, but we are seeing them on the site in
After the satellite collects the data, it undergoes some
preliminary processing and gets delivered to the scientist
who proposed that observation. This usually takes a few days.
The scientist then has one full year to examine, analyze, and
study this data. It usually takes months for scientists to do
this, especially considering they have several projects going
on at once. After that, scientists generally write a formal
paper to be submitted to a journal for peer-reviewed
publication. Press releases and other publicity usually hinge
on this publication, as we use that as a sign of complete and
accurate analysis of the data.
There is more information on this process at http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/faq/chandra/chandra-3.html.