The Chandra X-ray Observatory is a telescope that orbits the Earth and collects X-ray light produced by superheated, violent, and explosive objects and phenomena in space. Some of the most spectacular – and important – targets that Chandra studies are the explosions of stars (known as supernovas) and the remains they leave behind. This high-energy information helps scientists better understand exactly how different stars explode and how the debris they send out into space seeds future generations of stars and planets.
The X-ray data collected by the Chandra can be processed by astronomers into many different forms (images, 3D models, maps of the chemical elements). This Chandra bricks project offers the opportunity to recreate the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant, the remains of a star over 400 years old using bricks. This LEGO-build includes instructions of the complete supernova remnant with inventory list.
We have partnered with LEGO for the Blind (LFB) to develop a blind and visually impaired (BVI) adaptation for text-based instructions (legofortheblind.com). The Chandra bricks/LEGO project is part of an ongoing effort to build astronomical resources with and for people who are blind or low vision, including 3D-printed models of Chandra data showing stellar evolution as well as tactile 3D printed plates that translate astronomical images into relief maps.
All photos on the page, credit: NASA/CXC