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March 23, 2015 - Revisiting an Old Friend

Revisiting an Old Friend  A week after it began operations in 1999, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory pointed at Centaurus A (Cen A for short), a galaxy 12 million light-years away that contains a gargantuan jet blasting out from a central supermassive black hole. The jet, invisible at optical wavelengths, shines brightly in the high-energy X-ray region of the spectrum. Since then, Chandra has made repeat observations of Cen A at different X-ray wavelengths. This color-coded image, the result of nearly nine-and-a-half days of observations accumulated between 1999 and 2012, shows the lowest-energy X-rays that Chandra detects in red, medium-energy X-rays in green, and the highest-energy ones in blue. In addition to the jet, a central dust lane wrapping around the waist of the galaxy is visible.

Image credit: NASA / CXC / U.Birmingham / M.Burke et al

Weekly Calendar

March 23-29, 2015

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 23

1749: Pierre Laplace born
: John William Draper takes first photograph of Moon
1912: Wernher von Braun born
1965: Gemini III launched
2001: Mir space station reenters atmosphere

Moon phase Tuesday 24

1893: Walter Baade born
1992: STS-45 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Wednesday 25

Aldebaran 0.9° south of Moon

1655: Christiaan Huygens discovers Titan, moon of Saturn
1996: Comet Hyakutake closest approach to Earth
2000: IMAGE spacecraft launched

Moon phase Thursday 26

2009: Soyuz TMA-14 launched carrying ISS Expedition 19/20 crew

Moon phase Friday 27

First Qtr Moon 3:43 AM ET

1969: Mariner 7 launched
1972: Venera 8 launched
1989: Contact lost with Phobos 2
1999: First Sea Launch mission

Moon phase Saturday 28

1802: Heinrich Olbers discovers asteroid Pallas
1963: Fourth Saturn C-1 rocket (SA-4) launched
2013: Soyuz TMA-08M launched carrying ISS Expedition 35/36 crew

Moon phase Sunday 29

Palm Sunday

1807: Heinrich Olbers discovers Vesta
1974: Mariner 10 first Mercury flyby
1989: Starfire 1 launched
2006: ISS Expedition 13 crew launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.