NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory

This page describes the Twitter feed that gives the current location of the Chandra X-ray Telescope.

What is Chandra?

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is the third of NASA's four "Great Observatories", and is used by Astronomers to study some of the more extreme objects and events (in terms of temperature and mass) in the Universe. It is in orbit around the Earth - because the Earth's atmosphere absorbs the X-rays it is built to detect - and is at a much-larger altitude than that used by the Hubble Space Telescope; at times it is more than one-third the way to the Moon!

Further information on Chandra can be found at:

Why does it have a Twitter feed?

I thought it might be interesting to let people know where Chandra currently is, and what it's doing, and Twitter seems to be all the rage at the moment. Other ways of presenting this information could be used, such as some form of syndication using Atom - which would provide more semantic meaning to the data (for instance the geographical information can easily be extracted by programs) - but I thought I would see how the Twitter feed panned out first.

How does it all work?

The twitter feed is actually a simple Haskell program that grabs the current location from the Science@NASA Chandra Track page, and then uses the GeoNames web service to convert this location into something more readable than a latitude and longitude. It really should be re-written to use local versions of these services.

What next?

The current observing schedule could be added to the feed. If you have any other ideas send them to the Chandra Twitter feed.

This page, or any information derived from it, is not an official product of the Chandra X-ray Center, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, or NASA.

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