The 'Astrolympics' Open in Time for Summer Games


With the Olympic Games in Rio nearly ready to begin, an innovative project blending science and sports is being unveiled. “AstrOlympics” relates the amazing feats of Olympic athletes with the spectacular phenomena found throughout space.

This latest project from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Communications group highlights the physical connections between sport and space. Examining various topics including speed, distance, time, mass, rotation, and pressure, AstrOlympics explores the impressive range of these different physical properties.

AstrOlympics provides brief explanations of the physical concepts and then compares examples from common every day experiences, Olympic events, and discoveries from space made with Chandra and other telescopes. For example, the speed section compares the world’s fastest sprinter to a typical speed limit on a highway to how fast the debris of an exploded star moves.

The AstrOlympics project consists of a series of posters, videos, and a website. To date, the AstrOlympics materials are scheduled to be displayed in dozens of locations in the United States, Brazil, Uruguay and more. In addition, the US State Department will place the AstrOlympics content in select American Spaces, venues around the world that provide welcoming environments where visitors can learn about the United States. AstrOlympics will also be distributed through NASA and International Astronomical Union networks.

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Brazil between August 5-21.

All of the AstrOlympics products and materials are available for free download at

More information about the Chandra X-ray Observatory at and

Media contacts:

Megan Watzke
Chandra X-ray Center, Cambridge, Mass.

Kimberly Arcand
Chandra X-ray Center, Cambridge, Mass.

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