I'm Claude Canizares.
I'm a professor in the physics department
and also Vice President for Research and Associate Provost.
But my research for many, many years
has been in x-ray astronomy.
I have had the great pleasure of working on the Chandra X-ray
Observatory, which just passed its 10th anniversary in orbit.
It was launched from Cape Canaveral on the space shuttle.
It's now in a very high orbit.
At its farthest distance it's about a third
of the way to the moon, and then it
spirals quickly around the earth again and goes back
out every 64 hours.
Chandra is one of what NASA called the Great Observatories.
Hubble is probably the best known of that series.
But it is specially designed to look at x-rays.
The reason that we want to study x-rays
is that x-rays can only be generated
in the most energetic, explosive, bizarre places
in the universe.
Instrumentation of Chandra is very specialized
in order to have a telescope that can actually focus x-rays,
and then a set of specialized detectors
that can measure the x-rays with great precision.
At MIT we had several teams working on this,
and actually designed and built and delivered
to NASA two of the four scientific instruments
And now we continue, of course, to make very fruitful use
of the data and have a role in helping
to do the scientific operations, along with our colleagues
at the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory and NASA.