Cosmic Heavyweights in Free-For-All

Apr
16

This composite image shows the massive galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745 (MACSJ0717, for short), where four separate galaxy clusters have been involved in a collision, the first time such a phenomenon has been documented. Hot gas is shown in an image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and galaxies are shown in an optical image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The hot gas is color-coded to show temperature, similar to a temperature map of the Earth given in a weather forecast.

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Celebrating Telescopic Diversity

Apr
13

This week, we released a new result that combines data from Chandra with two other telescopes (MacsJ0717.) The truth is that the multiple-telescope approach is Milky Way probably no longer the exception – rather it has become the rule. Modern astronomy and astrophysics is not about being identified with one wavelength as might have been the case in the past.

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Is it Easy Being Green?

Apr
06

Solar panels have been in the news a lot lately. First, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched to bring the final set of solar panels to the International Space Station. Then the astronauts onboard the ISS got a call from an interested member of the public - President Barack Obama - who wanted to talk,
among other things, about how the ISS uses solar power to generate its energy.

Well, as it turns out, the ISS is far from the only spacecraft up there using solar power. John Scott, a mission planner for Chandra's Flight Operation Team, describes how NASA's premier X-ray observatory is as green as can be.

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A Young Pulsar Shows its Hand

Apr
03

A small, dense object only twelve miles in diameter is responsible for this beautiful X-ray nebula that spans 150 light years. At the center of this image made by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is a very young and powerful pulsar, known as PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short. The pulsar is a rapidly spinning neutron star which is spewing energy out into the space around it to create complex and intriguing structures, including one that resembles a large cosmic hand.

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Live Webcast from Chandra's Control Center

Mar
30

On Friday, April 3rd, the public will have a chance to get an inside peek at how the Chandra X-ray Observatory is run. That's because we're participating in the "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" project that's part of the International Year of Astronomy's "100 Hours" program.

Around The World

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Erratic Black Hole Regulates Itself

Mar
25

This optical and infrared image from the Digitized Sky Survey shows the crowded field around the micro-quasar GRS 1915+105 (GRS 1915 for short) located near the plane of our Galaxy. The inset shows a close-up of the Chandra image of GRS 1915, one of the brightest X-ray sources in the Milky Way galaxy. This micro-quasar contains a black hole about 14 times the mass of the Sun that is feeding off material from a nearby companion star. As the material swirls toward the black hole, an accretion disk forms.

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March's Mission Madness

Mar
20

You may have noticed that NASA is running an event mirroring the annual extravaganza that is the NCAA basketball tournament. Instead of selecting the basketball teams you think will win (I'm rooting for a certain Big 10 team myself), you vote for your favorite NASA mission.

FETTU

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Supersized Chandra Images (May Be) Near You

Mar
18

We've talked about one of our favorite IYA2009 projects here before - "From Earth to the Universe" - and now we want to give you an update. As of this month, FETTU, as we lovingly call it, is a reality. In the US, FETTU is currently appearing in the Tucson international airport in the baggage claim area.

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Meet An Astronomer: Randall Smith

Mar
11

Dr. Randall Smith joins us this week for our "Meet an Astronomer" segment. Randall has worn several astronomical hats over the years, but right now he's putting most of his effort into working on the International X-ray Observatory. For those of you who haven't heard of it, IXO as it's known, is the

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A Black Hole in Medusa's Hair

Mar
11

This composite image of the Medusa galaxy (also known as NGC 4194) shows X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in blue and optical light from the Hubble Space Telescope in orange. Located above the center of the galaxy and seen in the optical data, the "hair" of the Medusa -- made of snakes in the Greek myth -- is a tidal tail formed by a collision between galaxies. The bright X-ray source found towards the left side of Medusa's hair is a black hole.

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