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Saturn (The 6th planet from the Sun, as seen at a distance of 890 million miles from Earth.)

Description: Chandra's image of Saturn shows that its X-radiation is concentrated along the equator. The X-ray spectrum, or the distribution of X-rays according to energy, was found to be similar to that of X-rays from the Sun. This indicates that the X-radiation is due to the reflection of solar X-rays by Saturn's atmosphere.


Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory


NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray


Date: 2004


Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


Gift line: X-ray: NASA/U. Hamburg/J.Ness et al.


Accession number: saturn

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Taken on October 8, 2008