Chandra Highlights from the AAS: Black Holes and Jelly Beans

Last week, the American Astronomical Society held its bi-annual meeting in Austin, TX. (The AAS, as it's known, always has a winter meeting in early January and then a spring meeting around Memorial Day.) The AAS meetings are important because the AAS is the largest professional group of astronomers in the US and so they often bring some of their most exciting results to share.

Chandra Showcase for Google Sky

The latest version of Sky in Google Earth, released on January 09, 2008 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas, now contains X-ray images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Along with images from other NASA satellites, the addition of Chandra into Sky in Google Earth provides scientists, students, and amateur stargazers new opportunities to explore the Universe across the electromagnetic spectrum. Eli Bressert, Image Processor at the Chandra X-ray Center, discusses the Sky in Google Earth update.


Do We Live in a Jelly Bean Universe?

Like the jelly beans in this jar, the Universe is mostly dark: 96 percent consists of dark energy (about 70%) and dark matter (about 26%). Only about four percent (the same proportion as the lightly colored jelly beans) of the Universe - including the stars, planets and us -is made of familiar atomic matter. Read about the make up of the Universe

X-Ray Astronomy vs. Medical X-Rays

A doctor's x-ray machine consists of two parts: an x-ray source at one end, and a camera at the other. The arm or mouth or other body part to be examined is placed in between these two parts. X-rays from the source shine through the impeding body part, and the camera records the x-rays that reach the photographic film inside. Bone is denser than muscle tissue and skin, so it stops more of the x-rays (and hence fewer x-rays make it to the region of the film that's behind the bone).

Do X-ray Astronomers Wear Lead Aprons?

Dr. Patrick Slane from the Chandra X-ray Center presented an overview of the Chandra X-ray Observatory to NASA's museum alliance. This part of the conversation talks about how X-ray Astronomy connects to medical X-rays and what people experience with X-rays from the doctor.

Everybody is familiar with going to the doctor and having a big X-ray machine kind of point at you and having a film put somewhere and then getting a picture. And at many times, I’ve been asked the question, is it dangerous to shine all those X-rays out in the space from Chandra.

The Coolest Things in the Universe...or, Impressing Your Co-Workers

Dr. David Pooley is an astrophysicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Before landing at the home of the Badgers, Dave was at the University of California at Berkeley after getting his Ph.D. from MIT. He shares his thoughts on what's interesting in the Universe in this installment of the Chandra blog.

What Does the Future Hold?

Dr. Michael Muno continues his discussion in part II of his blog.
While focused on the present, Mike Muno, an astrophysicist at Caltech, has thoughts about where he would like to see his research go in the future. In this post, he discusses what he hopes to be studying with X-rays in the upcoming years.


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