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Q&A: X-ray Astronomy

Q:
In the term "X-Ray", what does the x stand for?

A:
A new form of radiation was discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist. He called it X-radiation to denote its unknown nature. This mysterious radiation had the ability to pass through many materials that absorb visible light. X-rays also have the ability to knock electrons loose from atoms. Over the years these exceptional properties have made X-rays useful in many fields, such as medicine and research into the nature of the atom. Read more about X-Rays & Light at http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/xrays.html.

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