Credit: NASA/CXC/MPE/K.Dennerl et al.
The image above is the first ever view of
the planet Mars in X-radiation. It was obtained by the Chandra X-ray Observatory at a time when
the planet was close to earth and close to the sun, when the planet's X-ray
emission should have been its brightest. Chandra clearly detected the emission
from the planet, though the emission's actually rather weak - comparable to the
X-ray power of about ten thousand medical X-ray machines. The X-ray emission
from the planet is thought to be produced by interactions of the Sun's X-rays
with the thin Martian atmosphere.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified November 17 2002