HEAD High Energy Astrophysics Division

HEADNEWS: THE ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER OF THE HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS DIVISION OF THE AAS




Newsletter No. 98, June 2011

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6. Chandra X-ray Observatory Report - Roger Brissenden (SAO) and Martin Weisskopf (MSFC)



Chandra has now carried out almost 12 years of successful science operations. Chandra's overall observing efficiency has risen to the highest level of the mission, due to the evolution of Chandra's orbit, which has reduced the non-observing time spent in Earth's radiation belts. Science data processing, archiving, and distribution proceeded smoothly, with average time between observation and data delivery remaining at about a day.

We are nearing completion of new on-board and ground-based procedures to adapt to increasing operational constraints and anticipated heightened solar activity. These actions will increase spacecraft safety margins and will in many cases speed up the return to observing after periods of solar activity, maximizing available observing time.

We have implemented an algorithm that provides sub-pixel resolution of processed ACIS images, reducing the size of on-axis point sources and allowing detection of more faint sources in high-background regions. The algorithm is available in the current version of the CIAO data analysis software and will be incorporated into standard data processing in June.

Scientists worldwide responded to the 13th call for Chandra observing and research proposals by submitting 659 proposals requesting 141 Msec of observing time, an oversubscription of the available 26 Msec by a factor of 5.4.

The Chandra X-Ray Center hosted the 20th ADASS (Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems) conference in Boston in November 2010. We organized the symposium 12 Years of Science with Chandra, held as part of the AAS meeting in Boston, 23-25 May, and will conduct the workshop Structure in Clusters and Groups of Galaxies in the Chandra Era, Boston, 12-14 July.

The Chandra Press Office issued 8 image releases and 6 press releases, one resulting from a televised NASA news conference. A complete listing is available at http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/.

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