Explore Space with Smithsonian’s Chandra X-Ray App

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory iPhone screenshot
We continue our celebration of American history and legacy this July 2015 with the New Horizons spacecraft’s dramatic flight past the icy dwarf planet Pluto and its moons—momentous in space exploration. Just think about it—New Horizons, a NASA space probe traveled over 3 billion miles to the ninth and final planet, making America the first and only country that has sent space probes to every planet that makes up our solar system. That is historic!

According to the Government Digital Analytics dashboard, I was just one of several thousand people scouring NASA’s Web pages wanting to experience the thrill of witnessing and sharing in the great moment. I spent hours soaking up everything I could read about spacecraft, and was thrilled to my core to see the new hi-res images with unprecedented details—it was like being up close and personal with Pluto—far from it being just another distant planet.

At one time or another, we have all gazed at the cloudless night sky, bedazzled by constellations of sparkling stars, mesmerized by the full moon or a shooting star wondering…

Want to know more, learn more, and see more of what’s out there?

From exploding stars black holes to clusters of galaxies, you can explore our beautiful universe with Smithsonian’s Chandra x-ray observatory mobile site, which is also available for iOS devices. The app downloads in a minute or two and has a small footprint.

Categorized by the Smithsonian Institute as an educational app, it provides a selection of Chandra’s astronomical images to zoom into, share and learn about. This app draws directly from Chandra’s Observations database. Users of this app can expect to enjoy a richer interface as the Chandra team continues to expand selections and increase interactivity in this mobile app.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory iPhone screenshot
I simply love this app—very easy to use. It has so many breathtaking, awesome images with a ton of info about every one of those pictures. Just tap a thumbnail image on the home screen to explore. Scroll through the image list to see the stellar images in the collection that will truly astound you—including those of a neutron star, planets in our solar system, the center of the Milky Way or the Pinwheel Galaxy just to pinpoint a few. Pinch and drag to zoom into an image.

Want more information about what you are seeing? Tap “more info” for text on the image. Want to know even more… touch the “site page” button for more details. When you are on the site page, you are able to print, save or share the image in email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

The word “Chandra” means moon in the ancient Sanskrit language. How very appropriate a name for this flagship mission from NASA. As its mission continues and Chandra continues to discover startling new science about our high-energy universe, we can partake in the excitement and exploration with this mobile app.

You can download these and other government apps through the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory. Do you have a federal app that is not listed on the Directory? Take part in the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt.

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