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Special Features: Interactive Collections

Interactive pieces presenting Chandra images in unique ways. The following features are grouped by topic, such as comparisons with art images, science category, and by date.

Science and Art

Coloring Space
1. Coloring Space HTML
This piece is intended to provoke thought about how the two realms of color - in art and in space - intersect and diverge. It explores the similarities of how these different types of images are made, as well as discusses the ways in which they differ. We invite you to explore these images and what they represent both on their own and when presented as a comparison (or contrast?) to another in a separate field.
Sight Lines
2. Sight Lines HTML
This online exhibition explores the research processes used by art conservators and astrophysicists, featuring X-ray images of the cosmos from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory and X-ray images of modern paintings from the Harvard Art Museum.
The Universe
3. From the Earth to the Heavens HTML
There are patterns of beauty across Earth and throughout the Universe. This activity invites you to compare aerial photographs of our planet taken by Yann Arthus-Bertrand to X-ray images of the cosmos taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. We hope these pairings provide an intriguing new way to view the striking visual patterns made by these very different objects.

Astronomy in Context

The Periodic Tables
4. The Periodic Tables   HTML  |  PDF
Interact with this graphic representation of the "astronomers" version of the periodic table of elements. What leaps out of the astronomers' table is that the simplest elements, hydrogen and helium, are by far the most abundant.

Telescopes & Light
5. Telescopes & Light  HTML
Astronomers have built telescopes and detectors that can see far beyond the type of radiation we can detect with the human eye. Ranging from long radio and infrared waves to shorter wavelengths of ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays that reveal the hottest parts of the Universe, modern astronomy is really one of telescopic diversity.

Xray 101
6. Constellations: Wonders Within
Four hundred years ago, Galileo turned his telescope to the sky and forever changed how humanity views its place in the cosmos. Since then, astronomers have been building telescopes both in space and on the ground -- to help further our understanding of the Universe. This series of posters represents some of the most dramatic images made by combining data from the best of modern telescopes.

The Universe
7. The Universe in a Jelly Bean Jar  HTML  |   PDF
Most of the Universe is dark. The protons, neutrons and electrons that make up the stars, planets and us represent only a small fraction of the mass and energy of the Universe. The rest is dark and mysterious. How can X-rays help reveal the secrets of this darkness?
See also: The Universe Darkly and The Universe.

The Chandra Mission

The Unexpected
8. The Unexpected  HTML  |   PDF
Looking back on the accomplishments of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory over the past dozen years, and trying to predict what it will find in the future, one thing is certain: we can expect the unexpected. This piece describes some of the expectations for the Chandra mission along with some of the unexpected discoveries.
Top Ten
9. Chandra's Top Ten Scientific Discoveries   PDF
Here we list some of Chandra's most significant discoveries. These and other successes are prologues to what can be achieved by Chandra in the future. While expanding the realm of the known, Chandra is also raising new questions and pointing the way for future exploration of the high-energy Universe.
Xray 101
10. X-ray Images 101
How are Chandra images made? What do the colors mean? Find out the answers to these questions and more in X-ray Images 101.

Behind the X-rays
11. Chandra X-Ray Observatory: Behind the X-rays  HTML  
An interactive exploration of Chandra's hardware, including a look at the telescope system, science instruments and spacecraft system.

History of X-ray Astronomy
12. Major Milestones in X-ray Astronomy  HTML  
Chandra is part of a long history of X-ray astronomy, streching back to the early 1960s.

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Chandra By Science Topic

Locating Historic Supernovas in the Milky Way
14. Locating Historic Supernovas in the Milky Way  HTML  
In this feature, explore the approximate positions and names (shown in orange) of historical supernovas in the Milky Way. These are stellar explosions that are thought to have occurred in the last 2,000 years and may have been seen by early astronomers.

The Truth and Lies about Black Holes
15. The Truth and Lies about Black Holes  HTML  
Black holes have a bad reputation. After all, something that could swallow you completely sounds pretty scary. They're invisible, so maybe there's one just around the corner and we dont know it! Also, arent they enormous vacuum cleaners capable of destroying anything that gets near them? Once the black hole starts pulling on something, isnt that just a one-way ticket to oblivion? Well, not all of these things are exactly true. See also: Video Podcast

Blasts From The Past: Historic Supernovas
16. Blasts From The Past: Historic Supernovas   PDF
Every 50 years or so, a star in our Galaxy blows itself apart in a supernova explosion, one of the most violent events in the Universe. The force of these explosions produces spectacular light shows. Explosions in past millennia have been bright enough to catch the attention of early astronomers hundreds of years before the telescope had been invented.
See also: Historic Supernovas article

Guide to Stellar Evolution
17. Guide to Stellar Evolution   PDF
This guide illustrates the ongoing drama of stellar evolution, and how the rate of evolution and the ultimate fate of a star depends on its mass.
See also: Stellar Evolution Field Guide

The Solar System Through Chandra's Eyes
18. The Solar System Through Chandra's Eyes   PDF
Chandra's specialty is probing the super-hot regions around exploding stars, galaxies, or black holes. But Chandra has also shown that the relatively peaceful realms of space, such as our Solar System, sometimes shine in X-ray light.
See also: Solar System Field Guide

Exploring Black Holes with Chandra
19. Exploring Black Holes with Chandra   PDF
With its unique properties, Chandra is peerless as a black hole probe — both near and far. Not even Chandra can "see" into black holes, but it can tackle many of their other mysteries.
See also: Black Hole Field Guide

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Chandra Image Collections by Date

20. Image of the Year: 1999 to 2006
We asked you which images you enjoyed the most for each year since Chandra launched in 1999. Here are the results.

21. Chandra Slideshow Movie
Quickly navigate to the latest and greatest images from Chandra. Especially helpful for anyone who has trouble remembering the names of obscure images.

Top Ten for Chandra's Fourth
22. Top Ten for Chandra's Fourth  HTML  
Among its array of revelations in 2002-2003, news about black holes pulled in most of the headlines with four of the top five stories from Chandra during its fourth year in operation.

23. Chandra's Top 10 of 2001    HTML
Now in its third year of observation, Chandra has observed not only strange stars, but black holes, galaxies, and other cosmic phenomena. Taking a look back, here are some of the highlights of the past year with Chandra.

24. Chandra's 2nd Anniversary    HTML
For the 2nd anniversary of Chandra's launch and First Light, we bring you a look back at some of the spectacular observations that Chandra has taken.

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