Talk & Tour: Exploring the Universe from Near to Far with the Chandra X-ray Observatory (Mike Nowak and Norbert Schulz)

Date: 
Monday, January 29, 1:00pm
Location: 
Marlar Lounge 37-252

The Universe in X-ray Light
Learn how astronomers use X-ray telescopes to observe exotic objects in the Milky Way Galaxy.


Exploring the Universe from Near to Far with the Chandra X-ray Observatory
Mike Nowak
1:00 - 1:30  in 37-252

In the summer of 1999, NASA launched the third of its great observatories -- the Chandra X-ray telescope. Like the Hubble Space telescope which preceded it, Chandra is designed to have an unprecedented ability to create images and spectra of astrophysical objects, except working with high energy X-rays instead of optical light. This means that Chandra views some of the universe's most exotic and energetic phenomena: supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, jets traveling at nearly the speed of light emanating from near the center of clusters of galaxies. In this talk, we'll take a tour of the discoveries made by the Chandra X-ray telescope, starting with studies of our own solar system, moving outward to nearby stars, to the center of our own Galaxy where a black hole 40 millions times the mass of our Sun lurks, to distant clusters of Galaxies where the most massive black holes, billions of times the mass of our Sun, reside.

No enrollment limit for talk, no advance sign-up required.

Tour of the Operations Control Center for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, One of NASA's Great Observatories
Dr. Norbert Schulz
2:00 - 3:00pm departing from 37-252  (note: must sign up for tour by January 22)

The Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope, allowing scientists to study the origin, structure and evolution of our universe in greater detail than ever before. The spacecraft and science instruments are controlled from the Operations Control Center (OCC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We will take our visitors on a tour of the OCC and show where scientists and engineers direct the flight and execute the observing plan of Chandra, and where they receive the scientific data from the observatory. During the tour the visitors will learn about the basics of X-ray astronomy and about the latest, exciting discoveries made by MIT scientists with data acquired with Chandra.

Tour will be limited to max 20 people. Advance sign-up for tour required! Sign up deadline 12:00noon on JANUARY 22. Contact Debbie Meinbresse (meinbres@mit.edu<mailto:meinbres@mit.edu>) with your name and country of citizenship. Prerequisites: Attendance of 1:00pm talk by Dr. Michael Nowak (Marlar Lounge, 37-252) preceding the tour. NOTE: This event and the subsequent one are in building NE-80 and NE-83, which are restricted areas. We will walk over as a group from Building 37, immediately following Dr. Nowak's talk. Building NE-83 is about an 8 minute walk away, near the Cambridge Brewing Company. Be sure to bring your ID with you (driver's license, state issued identification card, or passport)!