By Definition
High Definition
Standard Definition
4K UHD
By Length
Full (4-12 min)
Short (1-4 min)
By Date
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017
2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006
By Category
Solar System
Stars
White Dwarfs
Supernovas
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Quasars
Groups of Galaxies
Cosmology/Deep Field
Miscellaneous
HTE
STOP
Space Scoop for Kids!
Chandra Sketches
Light
AstrOlympics
Quick Look
Subscribe
How To
RSS Reader
Audio-only format podcast
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Recent Podcast
Tour: NASA's Chandra Opens Treasure Trove of Cosmic Delights
Tour: NASA's Chandra Opens Treasure Trove of Cosmic Delights
Humanity has "eyes" that can detect all different types of light through telescopes around the globe and a fleet of observatories in space. From radio waves to gamma rays, this multiwavelength approach to astronomy is crucial to getting a complete understanding of objects in space. (2020-09-02)


A Tour of a New Galactic Center Adventure in Virtual Reality

View/Listen
By combining data from telescopes with supercomputer simulations and virtual reality (or "VR"), a new visualization allows you to experience 500 years of cosmic evolution around the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

This visualization, called "Galactic Center VR", is the latest in a series from astrophysicists, and is based on data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. This new installment features their NASA supercomputer simulations of material streaming toward the Milky Way's four-million-solar-mass black hole known as Sagittarius A*. The visualization has been loaded into a VR environment as a novel method of exploring these simulations, and is available for free.

When winds from hot massive stars in the region collide, they generate material that is heated to millions of degrees by shocks — similar to sonic booms — and produce large amounts of X-rays. The center of the Galaxy is too distant for astronomers to see individual examples of these collisions, but astronomers can use Chandra with its sharp X-ray vision to detect the overall X-ray glow of this hot gas.

These and other data were incorporated into supercomputer simulations at NASA Ames. The result is this remarkable visualization that spans the simulation's full size of three light years, or about 18 trillion million miles, around Sagittarius A*. The visualization delivers a 3D perspective through the use of VR goggles. By providing a six-degrees-of-freedom VR experience, the user can look and move in any direction they choose. The user can also play the simulation at different speeds and choose between seeing all 25 winds or just one wind to observe how the individual elements affect each other in this environment.

This visualization is the latest way that Chandra is bringing the wonders of the center of the Milky Way a little bit closer to home for everyone to experience.

Return to Podcasts