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Recent Podcast
A Quick Look at Jupiter's Auroras
A Quick Look at Jupiter's Auroras
A new study using Chandra and XMM-Newton data reveals that the auroras at Jupiter’s poles behave independently. (2017-11-07)


Chandra Sketches: The Nuts and Bolts of Astronomy -
Coloring the Universe - Part 1


View/Listen
Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): An astronomer's toolkit consists of many kinds of light, across the electromagnetic spectrum.  

Why are many kinds of light important? Each kind of light is different from the next.  We need to look at the Universe in all kinds of light to understand it.

Imagine if you could only see down the third base line at a baseball game. You'd have a hard time figuring out the game. But what if you could see the whole field

Visible light – what we can see with our eyes - represents only looking down the third base line. All of the other types of light, from radio waves to gamma rays, fill in the rest of the field.

Let’s look at supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, a star that exploded over 300 years ago and is spewing out its innards.  In the optical image, we see delicate filamentary structure at around 10,000 degrees. We get a different picture in X-ray light, where death comes alive. Put them together, and our view of this object is more complete.

It’s helpful to use different kinds of light to get a more complete picture of our Universe.

Next time:  
Astronomical images don’t start off looking like this. 
They look a bit more like this:  
Or really, more like this: 
So how do we make sense of that?

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