X-ray Discovery Points to Location of Missing Matter


Scientists have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton to detect a vast reservoir of gas lying along a wall-shaped structure of galaxies about 400 million light years from Earth. In this artist's impression, a close-up view of the so-called Sculptor Wall is depicted. Spiral and elliptical galaxies are shown in the wall along with the newly detected intergalactic gas, part of the so-called Warm Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM), shown in blue. This discovery is the strongest evidence yet that the "missing matter" in the nearby Universe is located in an enormous web of hot, diffuse gas.

Chandra at Smithsonian Folklife Festival

For those of you who are still making 4th of July plans and might be in Washington, DC, for the holiday, here's something to consider. There will be a Chandra exhibit at this summer’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival from July 3-5. Why, you might ask? Well, one of the themes of this year’s festival is the "Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe" -- and that's basically right up our alley. Throw in the fact that Chandra is operated and managed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and it's practically a match made in heaven.

"Survivor" Black Holes May Be Mid-Sized


This composite image of the nearby starburst galaxy M82 shows Chandra X-ray Observatory data in blue, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope in green and orange, and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope in red. The pullout is a Chandra image that shows the central region of the galaxy and contains two bright X-ray sources -- identified in a labeled version, roll your mouse over the image to view -- of special interest.

Shapes All Over The Place: Bubbles

Maybe it's the large number of the pre-school people that we spend time with these days, but we see shapes all over the place. Hoping to go beyond the snack-and-nap crowd, we like to look for similar shapes in very unexpected places.

Webby Award
A demonstration of visuals for bubbles (soap bubble, bubble nebula, galaxy cluster bubbles) across different scales.

Webby Award To Chandra Trailer

Since the dawn of the Internet, there have been countless things that have come and gone. To some of them, we can easily say good riddance (flashing rainbow icons? the used-to-death phrase of the "information superhighway"?)

Webby Award
In other words, not many vestiges of the Internet circa 1996 remain, but one important one does: the Webby awards. Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the Webbies are still one of the most prestigious digital awards around.

Einstein's Theory Fights off Challengers

Abell 3376

Two different teams have reported using Chandra observations of galaxy clusters to study the properties of gravity on cosmic scales and test Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Such studies are crucial for understanding the evolution of the universe, both in the past and the future, and for probing the nature of dark energy, one of the biggest mysteries in science.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust


A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star. The dust is flying past and engulfing a nearby family of stars. Scientists think the stars in the image are part of a stellar cluster in which the a supernova exploded. The material ejected in the explosion is now blowing past these stars at high velocities.

The Poetry of Discovery

Richard Dawkins, the Oxford zoologist and author, once said that "science is the poetry of reality", an observation that inspired a new video from the people who run the Symphony of Science project.

Another link can be made between science and poetry when scientific discoveries inspire people to write poems. Jonathan Taylor, a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at De Montfort University in the UK, wrote a poem about the deep note generated by a black hole in the Perseus galaxy cluster.

Jonathan is not only a poet, but a memoirist and novelist.



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