A Long Look Back at History

Fifty years ago this week, on October 1st, the legislation creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was enacted. There will likely be a lot of buzz about this anniversary, and rightly so, since it has, among many other things, shaped our understanding of the Universe so dramatically.

nasa at 50



Chandra's Got A New Look

The Chandra X-ray Observatory Center web site chandra.harvard.edu has been in existence for over ten years. In that time the Chandra Education & Public Outreach team has worked to improve content delivery, utilize new technologies and attempt to provide a fun, educational experience. Last week, the web group released a major revision that kept the overall basic design, navigation and search principles intact while allowing greater user control in content delivery. The new graphical design builds on existing elements but lends a more modern look.


The Chandra Astrophysics Institute, Part III

Sambath Kol (known as Simba) relates his experiences with the Chandra Astrophysics Institute in this third article of the series.
(Continued from Part II)

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The Chandra Astrophysics Institute, Part II

Peter Ashton relates his experiences with the Chandra Astrophysics Institute as an assistant instructor and as a former student.
(Continued from Part I)

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The Chandra Astrophysics Institute

The Chandra Astrophysics Institute (CAI), a Chandra X-ray Observatory-sponsored program run by the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, is intended for students from the Boston area from a wide range of academic backgrounds with a limited opportunity to directly experience authentic science. Students may be interested in exploring a science career, or looking to develop research, technology and collaboration skills valuable for college or work in ANY field.


How Far Away Are They?

Marusa Bradac: I do astronomy because it fascinates me. And it is the simplest things about it that amaze me most. I still remember times when I was a little girl watching stars with my dad in my home country Slovenia and wondering, "how far away are they?" I also remember how exciting it was when I first saw the Andromeda galaxy in our backyard. These days I moved on to much bigger things called clusters of galaxies. But the excitement of the question of how far away they really are is still there.


Welcome to the Virgo Cluster

We recently featured a composite image of Chandra and Hubble data of the object known as M87. This object, which gets its name from being the 87th object in Charles Messier's catalog, is the giant elliptical galaxy in what is known as the Virgo Cluster. If you are interested in astronomy, you have probably heard of the Virgo Cluster. What makes this cluster of galaxies so important that it seems like astronomers use every type of telescope to study it?


50 Years of NASA

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower signing the National Aeronautics Space Act. This little wiggle of the pen created the agency we all know today as NASA.


When Million-Degree Gas Is Safe

Last week, we put out a press release on an elliptical galaxy known as NGC 4649. Using Chandra data, a group of astronomers measured the temperature of the hot gas around the galaxy to come up with an independent way to measure the size of the gigantic black hole at the center. You can read more about the details in the press release.

NGC4649 Chandra Image


I Love the '90s -- at least 1999

Nine years ago this week, Chandra was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia (sadly lost in the tragedy of 2003). While the satellite has performed excellently since it was deployed on July 23, 1999, there was a little drama in getting it going. You can read about some of the angst-inducing moments in the days leading up to launch in our Chandra Chronicles from that time.

Chandra spacecraft


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