A very good year

The year 1905 was certainly a busy one for Albert Einstein. He had at least five papers published during that time. Not only would any scientist be proud to be so prolific, but Einstein was able to enjoy the fact these papers fundamentally changed the way we understood how the Universe worked.

Einstein

How can we detect black holes?

Q: How can we detect black holes?

Black Hole

A: There are two basic ways we can detect whether there's a black hole. Black holes are, of course, dark by definition - not even light escapes them!


Star Blasts Planet With X-rays

CoRoT-2A

This graphic contains an image and illustration of a nearby star, named CoRoT-2a, which has a planet in close orbit around it. The separation between the star and planet is only about 3 percent of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, causing some exotic effects not seen in our solar system.


Meet An Astronomy Intern: Jessica Brodsky

In this latest video blog, we sit down with Jessica Brodsky. Jessica is a student from Brown University who spent part of her summer doing detective work on the archive of Chandra images. Her task was to back fill the metadata into the Chandra images on chandra.si.edu. From her feedback, it was a useful experience, as Jessica's interests lie in digital assets management and web development. (We also heard that Jessica plans to take an astronomy course at Brown this year - awesome!).

Highest Energies in the Smallest State

This morning, the High Energy Astrophysics Division (aka HEAD) meeting kicks off in Newport, RI. What is this, you might ask? Well, the American Astronomical Society, or AAS, is the country’s largest professional group for astronomers. And because it is so large, they have also created several subdivisions so that scientists of a particular bent can gather to talk about their areas of interest. You can find a full list of the divisions here.

HEAD’s focus is what astronomers consider to be the higher energies of the electromagnetic spectrum – that is, generally anything more energetic than visible light. There’s the official mission statement on the

NASA's Chandra Finds Nearest Pair of Supermassive Black Holes

NGC 3393

Evidence for a pair of supermassive black holes in a spiral galaxy has been found in data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This main image is a composite of X-rays from Chandra (blue) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (gold) of the spiral galaxy NGC 3393. Meanwhile, the inset box shows the central region of NGC 3993 as observed just by Chandra.


Getting the Scoop on Space for Kids

This week, we're getting our foot in the door of an exciting new project. The European Southern Observatory has teamed up with the Universe Awareness project to produce kid-friendly versions of press releases on astronomy.

Space Scoop

Meet an Astronomer: Joseph DePasquale

In this installment of our Meet An Astronomer video blog, we sit down with Joseph DePasquale. Joe is the Chandra science image processor who works hard to create the astronomy images that appear in press releases, on our web site, in print materials, and elsewhere. We think he has a pretty cool job, with a great combination of science and art.

A Cosmic Exclamation Point

VV 340

VV 340, also known as Arp 302, provides a textbook example of colliding galaxies seen in the early stages of their interaction. The edge-on galaxy near the top of the image is VV 340 North and the face-on galaxy at the bottom of the image is VV 340 South. Millions of years later these two spirals will merge - much like the Milky Way and Andromeda will likely do billions of years from now. Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple) are shown here along with optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue). VV 340 is located about 450 million light years from Earth.


Music Meets Astronomy at the Newport Folk Festival

Ever since we publicized the "deepest note in the Universe" in 2003, I have admired outreach efforts that combine music and astronomy. These efforts have continued this summer and fall with a program by Don Lubowich, from Hofstra University, who has organised astronomy exhibits to be installed at a large number of music festivals and events. My small role in this program involved displaying images from the "From Earth to the Universe (FETTU)" exhibit on the first day of the Newport Folk Festival at the end of July, added to Don's astronomy banners which also included material from FETTU.

Newport Folk Festival

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