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Recent Podcast
A Tour of The Big, Bad & Beautiful Universe with Chandra
A Tour of The Big, Bad & Beautiful Universe with Chandra
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, we have released four new images of supernova remnants. These show Chandra's ability to study the remains of supernova explosions, using images that are the sharpest available in X-ray astronomy. The images of the Tycho and G292.0+1.8 supernova remnants show how Chandra can trace the expanding debris of an exploded star. The images show shock waves, similar to sonic booms from a supersonic plane, that travel through space at speeds of millions of miles per hour. The images of the Crab Nebula and 3C58 show the effects of very dense, rapidly spinning neutron stars created when a massive star explodes. These neutron stars can create clouds of high-energy particles that glow brightly in X-rays. The image for G292 shows oxygen (yellow and orange), and other elements such as magnesium (green) and silicon and sulfur (blue) that were forged in the star before it exploded. For the other images, the lower energy X-rays are shown in red and green and the highest energy X-rays are shown in blue. (2014-07-22)


Smithsonian X 3D Explorer

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Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): One of the most famous objects in the sky – the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant – is now on display like never before, thanks to NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and a new project from the Smithsonian Institution. A new 3D viewer developed by the Smithsonian allows users to interact with one-of-a-kind objects like the Wright Brothers airplane and a 1,600-year-old stone Buddha. The only astronomical object in this special collection is Cassiopeia A, or Cas A for short.

Back in 2009, scientists combined data from Chandra, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities to construct a unique 3D model of Cas A, which is a 300-year old debris field that was created when as a massive star exploded. This new Smithsonian viewer will allow scientists and the public to tour this 3D model Cas A in exciting new ways by being able to fly around the remnant themselves. Users can also get more information about various parts of the supernova remnant by clicking on hotspots and following links to more in-depth articles. So we invite you to take a 3D ride unlike any you’ll find at the movie theater and explore Cas A in in a brand new one way.

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