LIVE FROM A BLACK HOLE Kathy Flanagan, MIT researcher and engineer Harvey Tananbaum, CHANDRA X-ray Center Director
Tuesday March 6, 2001
X-RAYS AND X-TREME PHYSICS
Why are X-ray astronomy and the CHANDRA X-ray Observatory such good tools to explore such exotic and energetic processes? Because black holes heat up infalling gas to temperatures of millions of degrees--just right to be seen in X-rays. This section of the program shows why it takes space telescopes like CHANDRA and Hubble high above Earth to explore this region of the electromagnetic spectrum.
MIT researcher and engineer, Kathy Flanagan, explains how CHANDRA’s transmission gratings work (they’re rather like the diffraction gratings you may have used in class) to break up light for detailed analysis and clues to the processes which made it.
CHANDRA X-ray Center Director, Harvey Tananbaum, compares X-ray astronomy to other wavelengths, to help us understand the secrets of the X-ray sky, and what CHANDRA--with its superior resolution--has already revealed.
Kathy Flanagan, MIT researcher and engineer
Harvey Tananbaum, CHANDRA X-ray Center Director