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2012 Exhibit of X-Ray Observatory Images
Along the Corridor, 2nd Floor, Global Environment Hall
From August 24, 2012

─ Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known─ Quote from Dr. Carl Sagan
What is the Universe like? Our answer to this question has changed as our tools for studying the Universe have changed. The National Museum of Natural Science presents 2012 Exhibit of X-ray Observatory Images to provide visitors with a systematic understanding of the history of astronomical observations and new discoveries about the Universe followed by 2010 Hubble Space Telescope Images and 2011 Infrared Space Telescope Images.

The new exhibition, showing in the Museum’s corridor gallery, consists of both interpretive portraits and documentary photographs, ranging from the history of space observation, introduction to the NASA’s four Great Observatories to the truly amazing discoveries of Chandra X-ray.

Smoking Gun Found for Gamma-Ray Burst in Milky Way

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SSC
Hydra A:
Chandra Ploughs Up a Snake In Hydra A

Centaurus A Arcs:
Arcs Tell The Tale Of A Giant Eruption

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC

Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which launched in 1999 and has received an extended mission through at least 2013. Its space telescopes have captured plenty of amazing views of the Universe in X-ray vision. Chandra has been described as being as revolutionary to astronomy as Galileo’s first telescope.

When using telescopes astronomers try to look at the energy being produced by the universe not just in the visible part of the spectrum (where our eyes can see) but at the whole range of electromagnetic radiation. We thus have radio telescopes, infrared telescopes, X-ray telescopes and even some telescopes that are buried deep underground looking for neutrinos. X-rays, unlike visible light rays, are rarely observed and difficult to catch. Chandra, the third telescope in NASA’s Great Observatories program, captures its X-rays with barrel-shaped mirrors to study objects in deep space such as black holes, supernovae, quasars, neutron stars and dark matter, though Earth’s atmosphere blocks them.

“Modern observations have led to exciting new concepts. We are always looking for new and innovative ways of involving people in astronomy. This photographic exhibition is a great way to engage a very different audience at the Museum,” says  Dr. Chen Hui-hwa, curator of astronomy and the organizer of this exhibition. “These images displayed in the exhibition allow us to appreciate both the beauty and the fascination of what astronomers are revealing about the Universe,” added Chen.

2012 Exhibit of X-ray Observatory Images will create an explosion of images for experts and non-experts to explore. It is also an excellent teaching material for high school students. We cordially invite you to join us!