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Page 123
Click for high-resolution animation
1. ATOMS - Here, There & Everywhere

Atoms are the building blocks of matter. They are also constantly in motion, moving at speeds of thousands of miles per hour at room temperature up to millions of miles per hour behind a supernova shockwave. When an atom collides with another atom at such tremendously high speeds, energy gets transferred. This extra energy has to go somewhere and it is often released in the form of a light wave.

You may not think you have seen this happen, but chances are you have. Most of us have seen the neon lights of a diner or maybe even the strip of Las Vegas. Those bright neon lights glow because of these atomic collisions. Here's how: These signs are made from glass tubes filled with atoms of neon, argon, mercury or other gases. When an electric field is run through the tube, this energizes the atoms inside, making them collide. Each type of atom will release different colors of light, which is how we see these kaleidoscope displays on signs everywhere.

[Runtime: 03:45]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Spirals in Nature

Hurricanes are extreme weather events that can affect millions of people. Most of the concern surrounding hurricanes involves the experience of a hurricane from below - and for good reason given how much damage they can cause. But it is also very interesting to consider hurricanes from the other direction, that is, how they appear from the air. Looking at a hurricane from this point of view, we can see that the storm is, in fact, a giant spiral shape. And, it turns out, this spiral shape appears in many different objects of various sizes and scales across the Universe.

Let's compare hurricanes with two other spiral-shaped objects that are very different: water going down a drain and a spiral galaxy. The common thread for all of these three things is angular momentum, a physical principle that remains constant with time for a spinning object and applies over all scales.

[Runtime: 4.15]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
3. WIND - Here, There & Everywhere

We've all felt the wind - whether as a gentle breeze or the wrath of an angry storm. But what exactly is wind and what impact does it have?

Wind is an excellent example of a phenomenon that happens here, there, and everywhere. By studying wind wherever it occurs - here on Earth, somewhere in the Solar System, or across the vastness of galaxies - we are learning more about how science is connected no matter where it is found.

[Runtime: 03:11]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Listening to Light
QuicktimeMPEG When we look up on a dark night, we see a sky filled with stars. The light from a star, like the light from a flashlight or a lightning bug, is one form of electromagnetic radiation. Light is formed of waves, and different colors of light have different wavelengths. Red light has a longer wavelength than blue light. But the colors we see with our eyes represent only a tiny piece of the story. The electromagnetic spectrum spans from radio waves, with wavelengths longer than a car, to gamma-rays, with wavelengths smaller than the nucleus of an atom.
[Runtime: 9.21]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Ice Core Records: From Volcanoes to Supernovas
QuicktimeMPEG To study space, scientists usually use telescopes in high and dry places atop mountains. Or they gather their data remotely from observatories far away in space. There are other ways, however, to learn about the cosmos.
Researchers have been traveling for decades to some of the coldest places on the planet - Antarctica and Greenland - to uncover some of the secrets from space that have been left behind on Earth.
[Runtime: 07:20]

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Multiwavelength Views of GRB 050709
QuicktimeMPEG Various observatories watch the July 9, 2005 Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) afterglow. A team lead by Dr. Derek Fox discovered the X-ray afterglow with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory; a team led by Prof. Jens Hjorth of the University of Copenhagen then identified the optical afterglow using the Danish 1.5-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Fox's team continued its study of the GRB afterglow with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
[Runtime: 0:31]
(NASA/University of Copenhagen)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Colliding Binary Neutron Stars
QuicktimeMPEG Gamma-ray bursts are common, yet random, and fleeting events that have mystified astronomers since their discovery in the late 1960s. Many scientists say longer bursts (more than four seconds in duration) are caused by massive star explosions; shorter bursts (less than two seconds in duration) are caused by mergers of binary systems with black holes or neutron stars. This animation portrays one possible scenario that could produce the shorter bursts. While uncertainty remains, most scientists say in either scenario a new black hole is born.
[Runtime: 0:23]

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Black Hole Devours a Neutron Star
QuicktimeMPEG Broadcast:
  • QuickTime movie (uncompressed)
  • D1 (0.9 pixel aspect ratio)
  • 720x486
  • 29.97 fps
  • file size = (290.8 MB)
Download Broadcast

Scientists say they have seen tantalizing, first-time evidence of a black hole eating a neutron star-first stretching the neutron star into a crescent, swallowing it, and then gulping up crumbs of the broken star in the minutes and hours that followed.
[Runtime: 0:28]

Related Chandra Images:

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