This month, the Smithsonian is celebrating American Archives Month, which highlights the importance of archives across the country. While most people think of dusty shelves of books and manuscripts when the word “archive” is mentioned, there is actually quite a bit more to them than that.
Take, for instance, the archive of data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a NASA mission that is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Chandra has been in orbit around the Earth since it was launched aboard the Space Shuttle in 1999. During its now 12-year run, Chandra has collected X-ray data on all sorts of interesting things in the Universe, ranging from black holes to galaxies to planets. This data is accessible via an archive, which astronomers and interested members of the public can peruse.
Yesterday, seven new images were added to the existing Chandra X-Ray Observatory set on the Smithsonian Flickr Commons. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This Chandra image collection in Flickr represents a small fraction of the total amount of data in the archive. For more on the Chandra archive, see a blog post on the Chandra X-ray Blog, and see more images on the Flickr Commons.