Chandra Xray Space Telescope: Almost everyone in the civilized world has seen newspaper, television, or movie pictures (backgrounds in "Star Wars" and "Star Treck" flicks) shot by the Hubble Space Telescope. Chandra, a newer telescope named after Indian-American astromomer and Nobel Prize winner Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, is also out there taking spectacular pictures, and there is, of course, an Internet site where you can see them:

Unlike some recent NASA projects, Chandra has been spectacularly lucky since its deployment on July 23, 1999. After a few days of calibration, NASA turned on the telescope and it immediately locked onto a target. The spectacular "first light" photo of the remnant shell of Supernova Cassiopeia A was ready for its Internet debut by late August:

Other great photos soon followed, including an Xray view of Eta Carinae, the brightest object in the visible universe at (The sun and the moon and closer stars only look brighter because they're closer.)

Chandra's greatest astronomical accomplishment to date was the capture of the xray burst associated with SN1999em in spiral galaxy NGC1637. The star went super-nova 25 million years ago, but its light reached the earth on October 29, 1999. The images on the Internet at tm are not as spectacular as some of the others, but the associated data has surpassing importance (at least to astronomers.)

One of the neatest things about the Chandra Internet site is that it also makes available equivalent photos in other spectrums, including the enhanced visible-light Hubble photos.

More information on Dr. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is available at