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Recent Podcast
A Quick Look at Abell 1033
A Quick Look at Abell 1033
Hidden in a distant galaxy cluster collision are wisps of gas resembling the starship Enterprise, an iconic spaceship from the "Star Trek" franchise. (2018-11-15)

The AstrOlympics Project: What Do Olympic Athletes and Objects in Space have in Common?

Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): The athletes that compete in the Olympics can do amazing things. They run faster, jump higher, and spin quicker than most of us ever will.

Many of us are also in awe of what the Universe has to offer. Astronomers have explored the heavens with their telescopes and come up with findings that are so fantastic it can be hard to believe they're real.

What do Olympic athletes and objects in space have in common? The answer is matter in motion, often in extreme examples. Whether it is a human body moving at the fastest speeds possible or the debris from an exploded star blasting through space, the physics of that motion is, in many ways, the same.

The AstrOlympics project explores the spectacular range of science that we can find both in the impressive feats of the Olympic Games as well as in cosmic phenomena throughout the Universe. By measuring the range of values for such things as speed, mass, time, pressure, rotation, distance, and more, we can learn not only about the world around us, but also about the Universe we all live in.

The Olympics are an opportunity to behold the limits of human abilities in athletics. After all, the Olympic motto is Latin for "faster, higher, stronger." AstrOlympics enables us to appreciate the feats of the Olympic athletes and then venture far beyond into the outer reaches of space.

Let's find out just how far we've learned science can go.

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