Welcome to the June 2007 episode of Blueshift, from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. We’re featuring X-ray astronomy this episode – listening to black holes and learning about what it takes to build an X-ray telescope.
We interviewed Jerry Bonnell, co-curator of the Astronomy Picture of the Day, for a behind-the-scenes look at the website. We’ll wrap things up with a new question from the mailbag, and a brain teaser.
- Introduction (0:00 – 1:39)
- Brain Teaser (1:40 – 2:44)
- Featured Story: Looking at Black Holes Through X-ray Eyes (2:45 – 7:23)
Using invisible light to study the Universe… and listen to black holes.
- Interview: Curtis Odell and X-ray Telescopes (7:24 – 10:39)
What does it take to catch those X-rays? A look at how these special telescopes work.
- Interview: Jerry Bonnell and the Astronomy Picture of the Day (10:40 – 13:44)
Behind the scenes of the popular website and its daily astronomical images.
- Mailbag: Do we know what’s happening this very second in the most distant parts of the Universe? (13:45 – 16:43)
- Brain Teaser – Answer (16:44 – 18:18)
- Closing (18:19 – 19:04)
Featured Story: Looking at Black Holes Through X-ray Eyes
In this story, we took a look at X-rays and what they can tell us about the Universe. The following links and videos cover these topics in more depth, and can get you started on your own X-ray adventure!
- What is X-ray, and what is X-ray astronomy?
- X-ray Astronomy Primer in the Suzaku learning center.
- We mention two X-ray satellites, the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer and Suzaku. The Astrophysics Science Division here at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center contributed hardware, software, and expertise to both missions. We are proud of these satellites and our contributions to them. But there are many other X-ray Astronomy satellites, built and operated by many groups besides us.
- The Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE)
- Dr. Craig Markwardt
- Spectroscopy Primer at the Suzaku Learning Center.
Watch Dr. Kim Weaver explain what Suzaku (or Astro-E2) will observe. Click on the image to play QuickTime video. (1.9 MB) (Description)
Watch Mr. Curtis Odell explain how the Suzaku X-Ray Telescopes work. Click on the image above to play the QuickTime video. (650 KB) (Description)
- Dr. Jean Cottam
- Due to the limited amount of time available, we could only use a small fraction of our interview with Dr. Cottam.
- What is an emission line? Atoms emit X-rays and visible light photons at energies that were determined by the structures of the atom. When graphed against energy, they appear as a narrow, vertical, feature – a “line.”
- The Yell of a Black Hole - A narrow line from a stationary atom in a laboratory will become broad from Doppler shifts and the strong gravity of a black hole, when the atoms are placed around a black hole. This allows astrophysicists to study the black holes.
- ASCA science highlights on Active Galactic Nuclei
- Suzaku results on supermassive black holes
Interview: Jerry Bonnell and the Astronomy Picture of the Day
We were excited to sit down with Jerry, the co-creator of the popular Astronomy Picture of the Day website. To see a new image every day, with a helpful caption and links, visit:
|Trivia Master||Louis Barbier|
|Featured Story||Maggie Masetti
|Interview with Curtis Odell||Louis Barbier|
|Interview with Jerry Bonnell||Steve Fantasia|
|Theme Music||Naked Singularity|
|Other Music||Outta Scope|
|Executive Producer||Anita Krishnamurthi|
|Responsible NASA Official||Kim Weaver|
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