There are x-rays in space that come from stars (including our Sun), supernovas, quasars, and black holes. Our northern lights and auroras on other planets (including Jupiter and Saturn) also produce x-rays. Scientists can use these x-rays to take pictures of our universe using x-ray telescopes. Since x-rays from space are absorbed by our atmosphere and don’t reach the Earth’s surface, x-ray telescopes are placed on satellites that orbit the Earth.
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory orbits up to 86,500 miles above the Earth’s surface (about a third of the distance from the Earth to the Moon). It was launched into space on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1999 and has been looking at high-energy regions of our Universe. You can see some pictures the Chandra X-ray Observatory has taken by going to https://chandra.harvard.edu/blog/big_picture.html.
Contributed by Dr. Susan Sharp and edited by Michelle Gramke (ADV TECH_US).
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