From time immemorial the cosmos has comforted humanity with its seemingly placid constancy. However, when science looks closer, we get a different story. From solar flares and thermonuclear burning engulfing the surfaces of neutron stars, to particle beams and collisions of literally extragalactic proportions, UCSD's Rick Rothschild will explain why the universe could be Rated "R" for violence. Series: "Atoms to X-Rays"
"The Universe is Rated R"
The Violent Universe: Joyrides through the X-ray Cosmos
"The universe is filled with extreme events: galactic collisions, supernovae eruptions, and stellar implosions. Although not always visible through optical telescopes, these processes generate x-rays, high-energy particles that travel at the speed of light. The Violent Universe reveals how astronomers use color to understand the energy and intensity of these x-rays -- in the process transforming invisible particles into gorgeous images of the cosmos -- and how these scientists discover more about the exotic objects that produce them.
Kimberly Weaver traces the development of x-ray astronomy from the 1950s, when the first artificial satellites began transmitting information from deep space. By juxtaposing a selection of images from optical telescopes with those of cutting-edge x-ray telescopes, she illustrates the way x-ray astronomy captures energy and activity that cannot be seen in visible light.
The book is illustrated with stunning four-color images of galaxies, quasars, pulsars, and black holes captured by Chandra, an enormous x-ray satellite that orbits Earth from a distance 200 times higher than that of the Hubble Space Telescope.
The Violent Universe makes plain the amazing new astronomy that has unmasked the thunderous cosmos -- a dynamic science that daily creates breathtaking art."
Dr. Kim Weaver is the program scientist for the Spitzer Space Telescope at NASA Headquarters. She began studying astronomy at the University of Maryland at College Park and discovered the world of high-energy astrophysics as a graduate researcher at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. After receiving her doctorate from the University of Maryland, Weaver moved on to postgraduate work at Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pa., and then to Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., where she is currently affiliated as an adjunct associate professor. In 1996, she won a NASA Presidential Early Career Award to pursue research in extragalactic astronomy. Weaver returned to Goddard in 1998. In addition to conducting scientific research, Weaver serves as the deputy project scientist for a future NASA mission, Constellation-X, which is part of NASA's Beyond Einstein program.
[Thanks to POSP stringer Tim.]