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Page 1234
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1. Chandra - 15 Years and Counting
QuicktimeMPEG Celebrating 15 years of science with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory: Chandra allows scientists from around the world to obtain X-ray images of exotic environments to help understand the structure and evolution of the universe. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra's science and flight operations.
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2. 2013: A Year with the Chandra X-ray Observatory
QuicktimeMPEG The Chandra images included in this brief 2013 retrospective are drawn from dozens of images posted to the Chandra web site (from among hundreds of datasets taken) in the past year to show the breadth and depth of research done using Chandra. Luminous, turbulent, young stars, old stars at the end of their evolution, supermassive black holes, clusters of galaxies and more. Explore these results at
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

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3. Tour of Chandra Archives 2013
QuicktimeMPEG Every year, October is designated as American Archive Month. While many people may think "archive" means only dusty books and letters, there are, in fact, many other types of important archives. This includes the use of archives for major telescopes and observatories like NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The Chandra Data Archive plays a central role in the mission by enabling the astronomical community - as well as the general public - access to data collected by the observatory. The primary role of the CDA is to store and distribute data, which the CDA does with the help of powerful search engines. The archive is one of the legacies of the Chandra mission that will serve both the scientific community and the public for decades to come.

To celebrate and support American Archive Month, we have selected images from a group of eight objects in the Chandra archive to be released to the public for the first time. These images - including supernova remnants, stellar nurseries, and galaxies -- represent the observations of thousands of objects that are permanently available to the world thanks to Chandra's archive.
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

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4. Images from Chandra's Archive
QuicktimeMPEG This collection of images represent the thousands of observations permanently stored and accessible to the world in Chandra's archive. This sample showcases the wide range of objects that Chandra has observed during its 14-year mission, including the remains of exploded stars, cosmic nurseries where stars are born, and galaxies both similar to our Milky Way and those that are much different. In each of these images, the Chandra data are blue or purple and have been combined with those from other wavelengths.
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

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5. Seeds of Life Across the Universe
QuicktimeMPEG In order for things grow, nature often requires seeds. Think of a farmer who must plant seeds into the ground in the spring or summer in order to have crops to harvest in the fall. This deliberate seeding of fertile soil has produced agriculture as we know it today, and allows us to grow certain crops to bring to market at predictable times of the year.

On a smaller scale, bees are involved with seeding as they moving from flower to flower and gather nectar to feed their hive. By transporting pollen grains from a flower's male parts to female parts of the same species, the bees pollinate and fertilize the flower and enable it to reproduce. In fact, pollination by bees and other animals is crucial to the production of most of the fruits, nuts, and berries on which people and wildlife depend. What's more, about 150 of the crops grown in the United States - including blueberries, apples, oranges, squash, tomatoes and almonds - require the help from pollinating insects and birds.

There is also seeding taking place on a much bigger stage - a cosmic one. When giant stars run out of fuel and collapse, they can explode in what astronomers call supernova explosions. These supernovas spread elements such as oxygen, iron, calcium, and many others into the environment around the exploded star. While these may not sound like "seeds" as we know them on Earth, they are in fact, key ingredients that will be swept up by future generations of stars and planets. It is through this process that the Earth acquired the elements that we require for life here on our planet. On average, a star explodes as a supernova about once every 50 years in our Milky Way galaxy. When it does, it can release more than a billion times the oxygen found in the Earth's oceans and atmosphere combined.

So it is clear how seeding can be important to plants and animals here on Earth, but keep an open mind to how this process has a role throughout the Universe. The growth of new structures - no matter where they are found - often depends on the introduction of new material into an environment. And this seeding can occur here, there, and everywhere in nature, through many different agents and on every scale imaginable.
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

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6. The Flow of Electric Charge

Imagine you are shuffling along a carpet and reach out to touch the doorknob, and -- zap! - you get a mild shock. What's happened is the friction between your feet and the carpet has produced a large build-up of negative electric charge on your finger. This creates what is known as electric potential difference, or voltage, between your finger and the doorknob. If the electric potential difference is large enough, a sudden flow of current, called an electric discharge, will occur. While this can be in the form of a zap to your finger, it also happens on much larger scales in many different places. In fact, violent electric discharges are responsible for some of the most spectacular displays of sudden energy releases on Earth and in space.

Let's take a look at one other example that you might have come across in say, an auto body shop or at a construction site. Between a welder's tool and metal, there is a large electric voltage. This causes sparks to fly and ultimately for a strong electric current to flow. In turn, this generates a brilliant light display and enough heat to melt the metal and allow it to bond to another metallic surface.

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7. Heaven and Earth

There are patterns of beauty across our Earth and throughout the Universe. We've compared X-ray images taken of objects in space with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory with aerial photographs taken from a helicopter by the artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand. These images may raise questions like: What is science? What is art? How do the two overlap and differ?

For example, here we see a flock of flamingos on the salty water of Lake Nakuru in Kenya. Compare this to the hot gas seen in the collision of two galaxy clusters, one of the most energetic events since the Big Bang.

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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

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8. STOP for Science: That's Fast
QuicktimeMPEG Most of us have heard the story of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise is slow and the hare is fast. But what exactly does this mean?

The speed of an object is defined as the distance it will travel in a certain amount of time. If something travels 100 feet in 10 seconds, its speed is 10 feet per second. We often talk about speeds in miles per hour in the US, or kilometers per hour in most other parts of the world.

Speeds are fun to talk about because they are easy to compare - just like the tortoise and the hare. For example, we know the fastest animal on land is the cheetah. It can reach speeds of 70 miles an hour. In the air, a Peregrine falcon is the fastest, clocking in at nearly 200 miles per hour at its top speed.

While this sounds really fast to us - and it is for humans - it's actually very slow when we compare it to, say, objects in space. For example, let's look at how fast the Earth moves around the Sun. Remember, it takes the Earth one year to make one orbit around the Sun. With this distance being 580 million miles, this means that the Earth moves on average at a speed of some 67,000 miles per hour through space.
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

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9. Shadows: Light That Does Not Pass

You are relaxing with a book on a nice sunny day when a friend leans over your shoulder and the page goes dark. "Hey," you might say, "you're blocking my light!" It is a familiar experience - any time an object blocks the light from another source, it forms a shadow. But did you know all of the places that shadows occur?

We are most used to shadows of, say, people on a beach. As their bodies block the sunlight, this prevents the light from reaching the sand behind them and a darker region is formed.

But much larger objects such as the Earth and the Moon can also cast shadows. During what astronomers call a lunar eclipse, the alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun can result in the Earth briefly blocking most sunlight getting to the Moon. Some of the sunlight does make it to the lunar surface, but it is filtered by the Earth's atmosphere, and it is also slightly bent. This causes the sunlight reflected from the Moon during a lunar eclipse to often appear red. The exact color of the shadow across the Moon during a lunar eclipse can depend on the amount of dust and clouds in our atmosphere.

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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

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10. The Shape of Speed

Have you ever watched a duck move quickly across a pond? You may have noticed that if the duck is paddling fast enough, the ripples of water in front of it will merge into a V-shaped wall of water. This structure called a bow wave.

Bow waves are not just found in duck ponds. Rather they can be anywhere in water, air, or even space where an object is moving quickly enough. Bow waves provide scientists with an important opportunity to study speed in many places.

Let's go back to the water for another example. As competitive swimmers move through the pool as fast they can, they push the water and a bow wave forms in the direction they are going. In fact, the best swimmers learn how to minimize the bow waves they produce so they can go even faster through the water.

Bow waves are also found in the air of Earth's atmosphere or even the very thin gas in between stars or across giant objects in space. An object moving through any of these environments creates a series of pressure or sound waves. If the object moves fast enough these waves merge into a 3-dimensional bow wave that is called a bow shock.

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