General

An "Hour of Code" with Color, Images, and Astronomy

Dec
09

For many, it might be hard to imagine living a life without computers and technology. In fact, it’s become so much a part of our society that we may not realize how dependent we are on technology.

But who does the work that enables these computers to fit into our daily lives? Who gets to learn how to code? A project called “Hour of Code” as well as Computer Science Education Week is seeking to address that question by increasing access to coding opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students, and particularly girls and underrepresented students of color.

Here at the Chandra X-ray Center we strongly believe in this goal as well. We’ve joined forces with other members of the astronomical community, including an astronomer at the American Astronomical Society, others at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, as well as partners at Google's CS First and Pencil Code, to create a project for the “Hour of Code” that combines color, astronomy, and coding: http://event.pencilcode.net/home/hoc2014/

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Thank You, STS-93

Dec
03

A couple of weeks ago, the "15 Years of Science with Chandra" symposium was held in Boston, Mass. It was foremost a chance to bring scientists together who are doing some of the most fascinating research with Chandra on everything from black holes to neutron stars to dark matter.

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Harvey's Voyage

Jul
21

Dr. Harvey Tananbaum at the Smithsonian's Castle Library in May 2006. (Credit: Jim Moran)

On April 20, 2014, Harvey Tananbaum stepped down after 23 years as director of the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC). This event was duly noted in various press releases, but its significance may not have been widely appreciated.

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Chandra "Enthusiastically Endorsed" for Extension in Senior Review

May
20

Peter Edmonds is the Chandra Press Scientist and, in addition to his work on publicizing Chandra science, has been heavily involved with the Chandra's Senior Review proposal since 2008.

In science, "peer review" is used to describe a process that determines whether a research paper should be published in a journal. One or more experts review the paper and determine its fate: are the results and discussion reliable and do they meet the publication standards of the journal?

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Christine Jones Wins Distinguished Smithsonian Honor

Feb
24

We are very proud to announce that the Chandra X-ray Center's Dr. Christine Jones is the recipient of the 2013 Secretary's Distinguished Research Lecture Award from the Smithsonian Institution.

The award recognizes a scholar's sustained achievement in research, long-standing investment in the Smithsonian, outstanding contribution to a field, and ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience.

Christine has been part of the Chandra family since before "Chandra" even existed. She started her work in the field of X-ray astronomy as an undergraduate at Harvard. With the 1970 launch of Uhuru, the first satellite devoted exclusively to X-ray astronomy, Christine studied Cygnus X-1, a binary X-ray source in which a black hole orbits a normal star.

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Finding Patterns

Jan
17

Clouds

Image: Frank Kovalchek, Wikimedia Commons

One of our favorite games to play with our kids is trying to find recognizable objects in clouds as they pass by on a sunny day. One cloud might look like an elephant, the next, a pirate ship.

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Carnival of Space #328

Nov
18

Welcome to this week's Carnival of Space. It's been a busy Universe out there so let's jump right into it.

The Urban Astronomer has an excellent recap of Hubble's observations of a very unusual asteroid. This asteroid not only has a comet-like tail, it has six of them. Oh yeah, and they apparently change.

Over at the Smithsonian's Air & Space blog, they discuss a very provocative issue: if we go back to the Moon, where should we go and, maybe more importantly, where shouldn't we?

In advance of the recent Maven launch to Mars, the good folks over at Universe Today feature an excellent video that summarizes where the Curiosity rover has been and also where it will be heading in the future.

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