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  • richardmitnick 8:41 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Building blocks of bacteria, , , Organelle’s protein shell, ,   

    From LBNL: “Study Sheds Light on How Bacterial Organelles Assemble” 

    Berkeley Logo

    Berkeley Lab

    June 22, 2017
    Sarah Yang
    (510) 486-4575

    Cheryl Kerfeld and Markus Sutter handle crystallized proteins at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. (Credit: Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab)

    Researchers at Berkeley Lab and MSU have obtained the first atomic-level view of an intact bacterial microcompartment, shown here. Credit: Markus Sutter/Berkeley Lab and MSU

    Scientists with joint appointments at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Michigan State University reveal the building blocks of bacteria. (Video Credit: Michigan State University)

    Scientists are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle’s protein shell.

    The work, led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Michigan State University (MSU), will appear in the June 23 issue of the journal Science. They studied the organelle shell of an ocean-dwelling slime bacteria called Haliangium ochraceum.

    “It’s pretty photogenic,” said corresponding author Cheryl Kerfeld, a Berkeley Lab structural biologist with a joint appointment as a professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory. “But more importantly, it provides the very first picture of the shell of an intact bacterial organelle membrane. Having the full structural view of the bacterial organelle membrane can help provide important information in fighting pathogens or bioengineering bacterial organelles for beneficial purposes.”

    These organelles, or bacterial microcompartments (BMCs), are used by some bacteria to fix carbon dioxide, Kerfeld noted. Understanding how the microcompartment membrane is assembled, as well as how it lets some compounds pass through while impeding others, could contribute to research in enhancing carbon fixation and, more broadly, bioenergy. This class of organelles also helps many types of pathogenic bacteria metabolize compounds that are not available to normal, non-pathogenic microbes, giving the pathogens a competitive advantage.

    The contents within these organelles determine their specific function, but the overall architecture of the protein membranes of BMCs are fundamentally the same, the authors noted. The microcompartment shell provides a selectively permeable barrier which separates the reactions in its interior from the rest of the cell. This enables higher efficiency of multi-step reactions, prevents undesired interference, and confines toxic compounds that may be generated by the encapsulated reactions.

    Unlike the lipid-based membranes of eukaryotic cells, bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) have polyhedral shells made of proteins.

    “What allows things through a membrane is pores,” said study lead author Markus Sutter, MSU senior research associate and affiliate scientist at Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) division. “For lipid-based membranes, there are membrane proteins that get molecules across. For BMCs, the shell is already made of proteins, so the shell proteins of BMCs not only have a structural role, they are also responsible for selective substrate transfer across the protein membrane.”

    Earlier studies revealed the individual components that make up the BMC shell, but imaging the entire organelle was challenging because of its large mass of about 6.5 megadaltons, roughly equivalent to the mass of 6.5 million hydrogen atoms. This size of protein compartment can contain up to 300 average-sized proteins.

    The researchers were able to show how five different kinds of proteins formed three different kinds of shapes: hexagons, pentagons and a stacked pair of hexagons, which assembled together into a 20-sided icosahedral shell.

    The intact shell and component proteins were crystallized at Berkeley Lab, and X-ray diffraction data were collected at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, both DOE Office of Science User Facilities.



    The study authors said that by using the structural data from this paper, researchers can design experiments to study the mechanisms for how the molecules get across this protein membrane, and to build custom organelles for carbon capture or to produce valuable compounds.

    Other co-authors of the study are Basil Greber, an affiliate of Berkeley Lab’s MBIB division and a UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow in the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, and Clement Aussignargues, a postdoctoral fellow at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 8:22 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , How a Single Chemical Bond Balances Cells Between Life and Death, Protein cytochrome c, , , ,   

    From SLAC: “How a Single Chemical Bond Balances Cells Between Life and Death” 

    SLAC Lab

    June 22, 2017
    Amanda Solliday

    An optical laser (green) excites the iron-containing active site of the protein cytochrome c, and then an X-ray laser (white) probes the iron a few femtoseconds to picoseconds later. The critical iron-sulfur bond is broken as the optical laser heats the protein, and rebinds as the system cools. (Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

    Slight changes in the machinery of a cell determine whether it lives or begins a natural process known as programmed cell death. In many forms of life—from bacteria to humans—a single chemical bond in a protein called cytochrome c can make this call. As long as the bond is intact, the protein transfers electrons needed to produce energy through respiration. When the bond breaks, the protein switches gear and triggers the breakdown of mitochondria, the structures that power the cell’s activities.

    For the first time, scientists have measured exactly how much energy cytochrome c puts into maintaining that bond in a state where it’s strong enough to endure, but easy enough to break when the cell’s life span is ending.

    They used intense X-rays from two facilities, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.



    The collaboration, led by Edward Solomon, professor of chemistry at Stanford University and of photon science at SLAC, published their results today in Science.

    “This is a very general yet extremely important process in biochemistry, and with an X-ray laser we now have insight into how this regulation works,” says Roberto Alonso-Mori, LCLS staff scientist and a co-author of the study. “These are processes that are going on a million-fold in our bodies and everywhere there is life.”

    The study marks the first time that anyone has been able to experimentally quantify how the rigid structure of the cytochrome c molecule supports this crucial bond between iron and sulfur atoms in what’s known as an entatic state, where the protein maintains a bond that is just strong enough to perform both of its jobs, says Michael Mara, lead author of the study and a former postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, now at University of California, Berkeley.

    “This was important because we had shown the bond is weak and shouldn’t be present at room temperature in the absence of the protein constraints,” says Solomon. “But the protein is able to contribute energy to keep this bond intact for electron transfer. In this LCLS experiment, we determined exactly how much energy the rest of the protein contributes to maintaining the bond: about 4 kcal/mol that is derived from an adjacent hydrogen bond network.”

    “We were able to show how nature tunes this system to change the properties on a fundamental level and perform two very different functions,” Mara says. “The energy contribution by cytochrome c is really at a sweet spot. It makes me wonder what sort of similar effects you might see in other protein systems, and it makes us realize that there is exciting new science on the horizon.”

    Ultrafast Changes

    Cytochrome c is present in a wide range of life forms and contributes to both cellular respiration and programmed cell death, the pathway to the natural end of a cell’s life cycle. How exactly the state of the bond relates to these two functions had not yet been demonstrated or quantified.

    Scientists knew from earlier studies that a particular iron-sulfur bond is key. When iron in the protein binds to sulfur contained in one of the protein’s amino-acid building blocks, cytochrome c participates in electron transfer. By transferring electrons, the protein helps generate energy needed for biological processes that maintain life.

    But when cytochrome c encounters cardiolipin, a lipid present in the membrane of the cell’s mitochondria, the iron-sulfur bond breaks, and the protein becomes an enzyme that creates holes in the mitochondria’s outer membrane – the first step in programmed cell death.

    These changes occur incredibly fast, in less than 20 picoseconds, so the experiment required ultrafast pulses of X-rays generated by LCLS to take snapshots of the process.

    “We photoexcited the iron atoms in the protein’s active site—which contains an iron-rich compound known as heme—with an ultrafast laser before probing it with the LCLS X-ray pulses at different time delays,” says Alonso-Mori.

    Each 50-femtosecond laser pulse heated the heme by a couple of hundred degrees. X-ray pulses from LCLS took images of what happened as the heat traveled from the iron to other parts of the protein. After 100 femtoseconds, the iron-sulfur bond would break, only to form again once the sample cooled. Watching this process allowed the scientists to measure energy fluctuations in real time and better understand how this critical bond forms and breaks.

    “The entatic state concept is really interesting, but you have to come up with creative ways to demonstrate and quantify it,” says Ryan Hadt, a former Stanford University doctoral student on an Enrico Fermi Fellowship at Argonne National Laboratory who together with his advisor, Professor Solomon, came up with the idea for the experiment and co-wrote the initial proposal around the time LCLS first came online in 2009.

    “Our research group was excited about this new instrument and wanted to use it to do a definitive experiment,” Hadt adds.

    A Question Raised by Earlier Work

    This experiment builds on an earlier study [JACS] conducted at SSRL that found that the iron-sulfur bond was quite weak, says Thomas Kroll, staff scientist at SSRL and lead author of this prior study.

    In the latest study, spectroscopy at SSRL also built the framework for the LCLS pump-probe experiment. It allowed the scientists to compare what the molecule originally looked like to how it changed when the temperature rose.

    “It’s important to understand how these proteins actually work,” Kroll says. “Because if you don’t understand how they work, how can we create better medicines in an informed and controlled way?”

    Knowledge of cytochrome c’s function is also valuable to the fields of bioenergy and environmental science, since it is a critically important protein in bacteria and plants.

    The DOE Office of Science and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health supported this research. The Structural Molecular Biology program at SSRL is funded by DOE Office of Science and the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences. LCLS and SSRL are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

    See the full article here .

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    SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the DOE’s Office of Science.

  • richardmitnick 8:06 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Single Electron’s Tiny Leap Sets Off ‘Molecular Sunscreen’ Response, , , , , , ,   

    From SLAC: “A Single Electron’s Tiny Leap Sets Off ‘Molecular Sunscreen’ Response” 

    SLAC Lab

    June 22, 2017
    Glennda Chui

    Thymine – the molecule illustrated in the foreground – is one of the four basic building blocks that make up the double helix of DNA. It’s such a strong absorber of ultraviolet light that the UV in sunlight should deactivate it, yet this does not happen. Researchers used an X-ray laser at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to observe the infinitesimal leap of a single electron that sets off a protective response in thymine molecules, allowing them to shake off UV damage. (Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

    In experiments at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists were able to see the first step of a process that protects a DNA building block called thymine from sun damage: When it’s hit with ultraviolet light, a single electron jumps into a slightly higher orbit around the nucleus of a single oxygen atom.

    This infinitesimal leap sets off a response that stretches one of thymine’s chemical bonds and snaps it back into place, creating vibrations that harmlessly dissipate the energy of incoming ultraviolet light so it doesn’t cause mutations.

    The technique used to observe this tiny switch-flip at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray free-electron laser can be applied to almost any organic molecule that responds to light – whether that light is a good thing, as in photosynthesis or human vision, or a bad thing, as in skin cancer, the scientists said. They described the study in Nature Communications today.


    “All of these light-sensitive organic molecules tend to absorb light in the ultraviolet. That’s not only why you get sunburn, but it’s also why your plastic eyeglass lenses offer some UV protection,” said Phil Bucksbaum, a professor at SLAC and Stanford University and director of the Stanford PULSE Institute at SLAC. “You can even see these effects in plastic lawn furniture – after a couple of seasons it can become brittle and discolored simply due to the fact that the plastic was absorbing ultraviolet light all the time, and the way it absorbs sun results in damage to its chemical bonds.”

    Catching Electrons in Action

    Thymine and the other three DNA building blocks also strongly absorb ultraviolet light, which can trigger mutations and skin cancer, yet these molecules seem to get by with minimal damage. In 2014, a team led by Markus Guehr ­– then a SLAC senior staff scientist and now on the faculty of the University of Potsdam in Germany – reported that they had found the answer: The stretch-snap of a single bond and resulting energy-dissipating vibrations, which took place within 200 femtoseconds, or millionths of a billionth of a second after UV light exposure.

    But what made the bond stretch? The team knew the answer had to involve electrons, which are responsible for forming, changing and breaking bonds between atoms. So they devised an ingenious way to catch the specific electron movements that trigger the protective response.

    It relied on the fact that electrons don’t orbit an atom’s nucleus in neat concentric circles, like planets orbiting a sun, but rather in fuzzy clouds that take a different shape depending on how far they are from the nucleus. Some of these orbitals are in fact like a fuzzy sphere; others look a little like barbells or the start of a balloon animal. You can see examples here.

    No image caption or credit, but there is a comment,
    “I see the distribution in different orbitals. So if for example I take the S orbitals, they are all just a sphere. So wont the 2S orbital overlap with the 1S overlap, making the electrons in each orbital “meet” at some point? Or have I misunderstood something?”

    Strong Signal Could Solve Long-Standing Debate

    For this new experiment, the scientists hit thymine molecules with a pulse of UV laser light and tuned the energy of the LCLS X-ray laser pulses so they would home in on the response of the oxygen atom that’s at one end of the stretching, snapping bond.

    The energy from the UV light excited one of the atom’s electrons to jump into a higher orbital. This left the atom in a sort of tippy state where just a little more energy would boost a second electron into a higher orbital; and that second jump is what sets off the protective response, changing the shape of the molecule just enough to stretch the bond.

    The first jump, which was previously known to happen, is difficult to detect because the electron winds up in a rather diffuse orbital cloud, Guehr said. But the second, which had never been observed before, was much easier to spot because that electron ended up in an orbital with a distinctive shape that gave off a big signal.

    “Although this was a very tiny electron movement, the signal kind of jumped out at us in the experiment,” Guehr said. “I always had a feeling this would be a strong transition, just intuitively, but when we saw this come in it was a special moment, one of the best moments an experimentalist can have.”

    Settling a Longstanding Debate

    Study lead author Thomas Wolf, an associate staff scientist at SLAC, said the results should settle a longstanding debate about how long after UV exposure the protective response kicks in: It happens 60 femtoseconds after UV light hits. This time span is important, he said, because the longer the atom spends in the tippy state between the first jump and the second, the more likely it is to undergo some sort of reaction that could damage the molecule.

    Henrik Koch, a theorist at NTNU in Norway who was a guest professor at Stanford at the time, led the study with Guehr. He led the effort to model, understand and interpret what happened in the experiment, and he participated in it to an unusual extent, Guehr said.

    “He is extremely experienced in applying theory to methodology development, and he had this curiosity to bring this to our experiment,” Guehr said. “He was so fascinated by this research that he did something completely untypical of a theorist – he came to LCLS, into the control room, and he wanted to see the data coming in. I found that completely amazing and very motivating. It turned out that some of my previous thinking was completely right but other aspects were completely wrong, and Henrik did the right theory at the right level so we could learn from it.”

    See the full article here .

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    SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, California, SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the DOE’s Office of Science.

  • richardmitnick 9:14 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: An indictment of Politics, and Science - Like Oil, , Water and Sulfuric Acid   

    Walter Heisenberg, The Jews, and the Nazis -An indictment of Politics, Religion, and Science – Like Oil, Water and Sulfuric Acid

    Read it if you can stomach it.

  • richardmitnick 4:24 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Chicago Quantum Exchange to create technologically transformative ecosystem, Combining strengths in quantum information, ,   

    From U Chicago: “Chicago Quantum Exchange to create technologically transformative ecosystem” 

    U Chicago bloc

    University of Chicago

    June 20, 2017
    Steve Koppes

    UChicago and affiliated laboratories to collaborate on advancing the science and engineering of quantum information. Courtesy of Nicholas Brawand

    The University of Chicago is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to launch an intellectual hub for advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information.

    This hub within the Institute for Molecular Engineering, called the Chicago Quantum Exchange, will facilitate the exploration of quantum information and the development of new applications with the potential to dramatically improve technology for communication, computing and sensing. The collaboration will include scientists and engineers from the two national labs and IME, as well as scholars from UChicago’s departments of physics, chemistry, computer science, and astronomy and astrophysics.

    Quantum mechanics governs the behavior of matter at the atomic and subatomic levels in exotic and unfamiliar ways compared to the classical physics used to understand the movements of everyday objects. The engineering of quantum phenomena could lead to new classes of devices and computing capabilities, permitting novel approaches to solving problems that cannot be addressed using existing technology.

    “The combination of the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, working together as the Chicago Quantum Exchange, is unique in the domain of quantum information science,” said Matthew Tirrell, dean and founding Pritzker Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering and Argonne’s deputy laboratory director for science. “The CQE’s capabilities will span the range of quantum information—from basic solid-state experimental and theoretical physics, to device design and fabrication, to algorithm and software development. CQE aims to integrate and exploit these capabilities to create a quantum information technology ecosystem.”

    Serving as director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange will be David Awschalom, UChicago’s Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering and an Argonne senior scientist. Discussions about establishing a trailblazing quantum engineering initiative began soon after Awschalom joined the UChicago faculty in 2013 when he proposed this concept, and were subsequently developed through the recruitment of faculty and the creation of state-of-the-art measurement laboratories.

    “We are at a remarkable moment in science and engineering, where a stream of scientific discoveries are yielding new ways to create, control and communicate between quantum states of matter,” Awschalom said. “Efforts in Chicago and around the world are leading to the development of fundamentally new technologies, where information is manipulated at the atomic scale and governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Transformative technologies are likely to emerge with far-reaching applications—ranging from ultra-sensitive sensors for biomedical imaging to secure communication networks to new paradigms for computation. In addition, they are making us re-think the meaning of information itself.”

    The collaboration will benefit from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which supports the creation of innovative businesses connected to UChicago and Chicago’s South Side. The CQE will have a strong connection with a major Hyde Park innovation project that was announced recently as the second phase of the Harper Court development on the north side of 53rd Street, and will include an expansion of Polsky Center activities. This project will enable the transition from laboratory discoveries to societal applications through industrial collaborations and startup initiatives.

    Companies large and small are positioning themselves to make a far-reaching impact with this new quantum technology. Alumni of IME’s quantum engineering PhD program have been recruited to work for many of these companies. The creation of CQE will allow for new linkages and collaborations with industry, governmental agencies and other academic institutions, as well as support from the Polsky Center for new startup ventures.

    This new quantum ecosystem will provide a collaborative environment for researchers to invent technologies in which all the components of information processing—sensing, computation, storage and communication—are kept in the quantum world, Awschalom said. This contrasts with today’s mainstream computer systems, which frequently transform electronic signals from laptop computers into light for internet transmission via fiber optics, transforming them back into electronic signals when they arrive at their target computers, finally to become stored as magnetic data on hard drives.

    IME’s quantum engineering program is already training a new workforce of “quantum engineers” to meet the need of industry, government laboratories and universities. The program now consists of eight faculty members and more than 100 postdoctoral scientists and doctoral students. Approximately 20 faculty members from UChicago’s Physical Sciences Division also pursue quantum research. These include David Schuster, assistant professor in physics, who collaborates with Argonne and Fermilab researchers.

    Combining strengths in quantum information

    The collaboration will rely on the distinctive strengths of the University and the two national laboratories, both of which are located in the Chicago suburbs and have longstanding affiliations with the University of Chicago.

    At Argonne, approximately 20 researchers conduct quantum-related research through joint appointments at the laboratory and UChicago. Fermilab has about 25 scientists and technicians working on quantum research initiatives related to the development of particle sensors, quantum computing and quantum algorithms.

    “This is a great time to invest in quantum materials and quantum information systems,” said Supratik Guha, director of Argonne’s Nanoscience and Technology Division and a professor of molecular engineering at UChicago. “We have extensive state-of-the-art capabilities in this area.”

    Argonne proposed the first recognizable theoretical framework for a quantum computer, work conducted in the early 1980s by Paul Benioff. Today, including joint appointees, Argonne’s expertise spans the spectrum of quantum sensing, quantum computing, classical computing and materials science.

    Argonne and UChicago already have invested approximately $6 million to build comprehensive materials synthesis facilities—called “The Quantum Factory”—at both locations. Guha, for example, has installed state-of-the-art deposition systems that he uses to layer atoms of materials needed for building quantum structures.

    “Together we will have comprehensive capabilities to be able to grow and synthesize one-, two- and three-dimensional quantum structures for the future,” Guha said. These structures, called quantum bits—qubits—serve as the building blocks for quantum computing and quantum sensing.

    Illustration of near-infrared light polarizing nuclear spins in a silicon carbide chip. Courtesy of Peter Allen

    Argonne also has theorists who can help identify problems in physics and chemistry that could be solved via quantum computing. Argonne’s experts in algorithms, operating systems and systems software, led by Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director and UChicago professor in computer science, will play a critical role as well, because no quantum computer will be able to operate without connecting to a classical computer.

    Fermilab’s interest in quantum computing stems from the enhanced capabilities that the technology could offer within 15 years, said Joseph Lykken, Fermilab deputy director and senior scientist.

    “The Large Hadron Collider experiments, ATLAS and CMS, will still be running 15 years from now,” Lykken said. “Our neutrino experiment, DUNE, will still be running 15 years from now. Computing is integral to particle physics discoveries, so advances that are 15 years away in high-energy physics are developments that we have to start thinking about right now.”

    Lykken noted that almost any quantum computing technology is, by definition, a device with atomic-level sensitivity that potentially could be applied to sensitive particle physics experiments. An ongoing Fermilab-UChicago collaboration is exploring the use of quantum computing for axion detection. Axions are candidate particles for dark matter, an invisible mass of unknown composition that accounts for 85 percent of the mass of the universe.

    Another collaboration with UChicago involves developing quantum computer technology that uses photons in superconducting radio frequency cavities for data storage and error correction. These photons are light particles emitted as microwaves. Scientists expect the control and measurement of microwave photons to become important components of quantum computers.

    “We build the best superconducting microwave cavities in the world, but we build them for accelerators,” Lykken said. Fermilab is collaborating with UChicago to adapt the technology for quantum applications.

    Fermilab also has partnered with the California Institute of Technology and AT&T to develop a prototype quantum information network at the lab. Fermilab, Caltech and AT&T have long collaborated to efficiently transmit the Large Hadron Collider’s massive data sets. The project, a quantum internet demonstration of sorts, is called INQNET (INtelligent Quantum NEtworks and Technologies).

    Fermilab also is working to increase the scale of today’s quantum computers. Fermilab can contribute to this effort because quantum computers are complicated, sensitive, cryogenic devices. The laboratory has decades of experience in scaling up such devices for high-energy physics applications.

    “It’s one of the main things that we do,” Lykken said.

    See the full article here .

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    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

  • richardmitnick 4:01 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , The history of the web at FNAL   

    From FNAL: “Fermilab celebrates its website’s 25th anniversary” 

    FNAL II photo

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    June 21, 2017
    No writer credit found

    Twenty-five years ago this month, Fermilab stood up its first website — one of the earliest websites in the United States.

    The World Wide Web was born at CERN in Europe in 1989 as a tool for exchanging particle physics data. The first U.S. web server was created at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in December 1991.

    In June 1992, Fermilab’s Computing Division installed its first web server. In late 1992, Computing Division staff created Fermilab’s first HTML page.

    In 1992, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois launched Mosaic, a graphical interface web browser that made the web navigable for people without computer expertise. In February 1994, Fermilab created the laboratory’s first pages designed for the public.


    In August 1996, the laboratory redesigned its growing volume of public webpages.


    A complete overhaul of the Fermilab website appeared on March 1, 2001, and its design and the technology behind its webpages has been updated several times since then:







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    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

  • richardmitnick 3:43 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Africa, Charting a better future for Africa, Charting a better future for Africa under uncertainty, Engineering sustainable development and poverty reduction,   

    From MIT: “Charting a better future for Africa” 

    MIT News

    MIT Widget

    MIT News

    June 22, 2017
    Mark Dwortzan | MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

    Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change Research Scientist Kenneth Strzepek meets with Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture Tefera Deribew. Photo: Brent Boehlert

    Almost 25 percent of the world’s malnourished population lives in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where more than 300 million people depend on maize (corn) for much of their diet. The most widely-produced crop by harvested area in SSA, maize is also highly sensitive to drought. Because maize in this region is grown largely on rainfed rather than irrigated land, any future changes in precipitation patterns due to climate change could significantly impact crop yields. Assessing the likely magnitude and locations of such yield changes in the coming decades will be critical for decision makers seeking to help their nations and regions adapt to climate change and minimize threats to food security and to rural economies that are heavily dependent on agriculture.

    Toward that end, a team of five researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) has applied a broad range of multi- and individual climate model ensembles and crop models to project climate-related changes to maize yields in Africa throughout most of the 21st century. Accounting for uncertainty in climate model parameters — which is most pronounced in high-producing semiarid zones — the researchers project widespread yield losses in the Sahel region and Southern Africa, insignificant change in Central Africa, and sub-regional increases in East Africa and at the southern tip of the continent. The wide range of results highlights a need for risk management strategies that are robust and adaptive to uncertainty, such as the diversification of rural economies beyond the agricultural sector.

    “In the wet regions you’d feel very secure in making large-scale, long-term agricultural decisions, knowing that the probability of error due to climate change is small,” says Joint Program Research Scientist Kenneth Strzepek, one of the study’s principal co-investigators (the other is Susan Solomon, the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies in the EAPS Department). “In the arid regions, where the magnitude of uncertainty is much higher, you’d need to proceed with caution. That means developing strategies that hedge on which crops are cultivated, learning more about how the climate is changing before making any major investments, and considering alternatives to agriculture for economic development.”

    The study was published in March in the journal AGU Earth’s Future and was funded by the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab and supported in-kind by the World Bank. It is right in Strzepek’s wheelhouse. For more than 40 years, he has cultivated expertise in environmental science and economics and applied it to promote sustainable development and poverty reduction, with an emphasis on optimizing the use of water resources in the developing world.

    Engineering sustainable development and poverty reduction

    Inspired by the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1972, Strzepek started out pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering at MIT, with the ultimate goal of working on U.S. environmental concerns. But during the summer of his sophomore year, after contracting a waterborne disease while participating in a water supply project in Mali, he felt called to shift his focus to the interplay of poverty, development, and public health. Propelled by this experience and the tenets of his Christian faith, he resolved to apply his engineering skill set to help alleviate poverty and promote sustainable economic development in resource-limited countries.

    To enhance his effectiveness in carrying out this mission, he spent the next eight years at MIT earning BS and MS degrees in civil engineering and a PhD in water resources systems analysis. He also completed an MA in economics from the University of Colorado (where he also served as a professor of civil, environmental, and architectural engineering); and now, as a true lifelong learner, is midway through a PhD program in economics at the University of Hamburg in Germany. Anchored by this interdisciplinary academic background, he has spent his career working at the intersection of water, agriculture, environmental, and economic policy, modeling these systems to understand their linkages and implications for investment and policymaking in both developing and developed regions.

    Today Strzepek splits his time three ways. First, as a research scientist at the MIT Joint Program he churns out peer-reviewed papers, such as the Earth’s Future study, that explore impacts of climate change on natural resources and economic development. As an educator, he serves as an adjunct professor of public policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government focused on water and climate policy and as an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary in Colorado, where he teaches a course on development and poverty. Finally, as a consultant for the U.S. government, the World Bank, and the United Nations, he works on projects focused on sustainable development and poverty reduction.

    For the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Strzepek has contributed to the 2015 Climate Change Impacts and Risk Analysis (CIRA) report, which estimated the environmental and economic benefits to the U.S. of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. For the World Bank, he has helped develop a comprehensive framework agreement between all sovereign states in the Nile River basin to cooperatively manage their shared water resource. And as a nonresidential senior research fellow at the U.N. University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), he helps lead a research project Development under Climate Change (DUCC), which examines the impact of climate change on water resources, agriculture, and other infrastructure systems, and the consequences for economic development in Africa and other developing regions. He is also a contributor to a Joint Program/UNU-WIDER project called Africa Energy Futures, which is exploring the potential economic benefits of shifting the continent’s energy system from fossil fuels to renewables.

    “Ken Strzepek is never one to lose the forest for the trees,” says Channing Arndt, another senior research fellow at UNU-WIDER. “Whether engaging in politically sensitive analysis of the Nile River or assessing the development implications of climate change, he has an uncanny ability to get to the crux of the issue. His many contributions include more realistic views of the implications of climate change in Southern Africa.”

    Raffaello Cervigni, a lead environmental economist with the World Bank’s Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, also praises Strzepek’s approach.

    “Ken combines three traits that make him particularly effective in development work — world-class academic accomplishments, unbounded energy for Africans, and the right dose of humility,” says Cervigni, who has led several World Bank assignments in Africa in which Strzepek served as a lead consultant or technical advisor. “This combination means he is almost uniquely able to fully engage his developing country counterparts.”

    Charting a better future for Africa under uncertainty

    As he works to reduce poverty and expand sustainable economic development in Africa, Strzepek aims to ensure that nations in the region don’t either overreact or underreact to climate change. To assess the economic implications of such reactions, he considers the opportunity costs of policies designed to mitigate or adapt to climate change, i.e., what critical economic development projects, from new schools to housing, could have been funded if such policies were not implemented.

    Of particular interest to Strzepek is determining the role of agricultural development in ensuring food security and as a potential engine of economic growth across the continent, all while the magnitude, pace, and impacts of temperature and precipitation change remain uncertain.

    “Policymakers and investors are asking: How do we proceed with all of this uncertainty?” says Strzepek. “The Earth’s Future paper is one of the first attempts to try to see if there are any regions of Africa where the level of uncertainty is lower than we might expect. Using different climate models and accounting for variables that range from temperature to soil nutrient levels, is there a consistent signal that can direct decision-makers on how to proceed in the near future? We believe that our findings, which quantify the level of uncertainty by region, can help guide that process now.”

    See the full article here .

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    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

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  • richardmitnick 3:23 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: African School works to develop local expertise, , Symmetry, The African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications   

    From Symmetry: “African School works to develop local expertise” 

    Symmetry Mag


    Mike Perricone

    Artwork by Sandbox Studio, Chicago

    Universities in sub-Saharan Africa are teaming up to offer free training to students interested in fundamental physics.

    Last Feremenga was born in a small town in Zimbabwe. As a high school student in a specialized school in the capital, Harare, he was drawn to the study of physics.

    “Physics was at the top of my list of potential academic fields to pursue,” he says.

    But with limited opportunities nearby, that was going to require a lot of travel.

    With help from the US Education Assistance Center at the American Embassy in Harare, Feremenga was accepted at the University of Chicago in 2007.

    As an undergraduate, he conducted research for a year at the nearby US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory [FNAL].

    Then, through the University of Texas at Arlington, he became one of just a handful of African nationals to conduct research as a user at European research center CERN.


    Feremenga joined the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider.

    CERN/ATLAS detector

    He spent his grad-school years traveling between CERN and Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, analyzing hundreds of terabytes of ATLAS data.

    “I became interested in solving problems across diverse disciplines, not just physics,” he says.

    “At CERN and Argonne, I assisted in developing a system that filters interesting events from large data-sets. I also analyzed these large datasets to find interesting physics patterns.”

    The African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications. No image credit

    In December 2016, he received his PhD. In February 2017, he accepted a job at technology firm Digital Reasoning in Nashville, Tennessee.

    To pursue particle physics, Feremenga needed to spend the entirety of his higher education outside Zimbabwe. Only one activity brought him even within the same continent as his home: the African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications. Feremenga attended the school in the program’s inaugural year at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University.


    The ASP received funding for a year from France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientific (CNRS) in 2008.

    Since then, major supporters among 20 funding institutions have included the International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy; the South African National Research Foundation, and department of Science and Technology; and the South African Institute of Physics. Other major supporters have included CERN, the US National Science Foundation and the University of Rwanda.

    The free, three-week ASP has been held bi-annually since 2010. Targeting students in sub-Saharan Africa, the school has been held in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal and Rwanda. The 2018 School is slated to take place in Namibia. Thanks to outreach efforts, applications have risen from 125 in 2010 to 439 in 2016.

    The African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications. No image credit

    The free, three-week ASP has been held bi-annually since 2010. Targeting students in sub-Saharan Africa, the school has been held in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal and Rwanda. The 2018 School is slated to take place in Namibia. Thanks to outreach efforts, applications have risen from 125 in 2010 to 439 in 2016.

    The 50 to 80 students selected for the school must have a minimum of a 3-year university education in math, physics, engineering and/or computer science. The first week of the school focuses on theoretical physics; the second week, experimental physics; the third week, physics applications and high-performance computing.

    School organizers stay in touch to support alumni in pursuing higher education, says organizer Ketevi Assamagan. “We maintain contact with the students and help them as much as we can,” Assamagan says. “ASP alumni are pursuing higher education in Africa, Asia, Europe and the US.”

    Assamagan, originally from Togo but now a US citizen, worked on the Higgs hunt with the ATLAS experiment. He is currently at Brookhaven National Lab in New York, which supports him devoting 10 percent of his time to the ASP.

    While sub-Saharan countries are just beginning to close the gap in physics, there is one well-established accelerator complex in South Africa, operated by the iThemba LABS of Cape Town and Johannesburg. The 30-year-old Separated-Sector Cyclotron, which primarily produces particle beams for nuclear research and for training at the postdoc level, is the largest accelerator of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

    Separated-Sector Cyclotron

    Jonathan Dorfan, former Director of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and a native of South Africa, attended University of Cape Town.


    Dorfan recalls that after his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the best PhD opportunities were in the US or Britain. He says he’s hopeful that that outlook could one day change.

    Organizers of the African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications continue reaching out to students on the continent in the hopes that one day, someone like Feremenga won’t have to travel across the world to pursue particle physics.

    See the full article here .

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    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

  • richardmitnick 2:49 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , What Ethan left out   

    From Ethan Siegel: “The future of astronomy: thousands of radio telescopes that can see beyond the stars” 

    Ethan Siegel
    June 21, 2017


    The future of astronomy: thousands of radio telescopes that can see beyond the stars.

    The Square Kilometer Array will, when completed, be comprised of an array of thousands of radio telescopes, capable of seeing farther back into the Universe than any observatory that has measured any type of star or galaxy. Image credit: SKA Project Development Office and Swinburne Astronomy Productions.

    Never heard of SKA, the square kilometer Array? Once it starts taking data, you’ll never forget it.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    SKA South Africa

    “Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, for example, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.” -Dave Barry

    By building bigger telescopes, going to space, and looking from ultraviolet to visible to infrared wavelengths, we can view stars and galaxies as far back as stars and galaxies go. But for millions of years in the Universe, there were no stars, no galaxies, nor anything that emitted visible light. Prior to that, the only light that existed was the leftover glow from the Big Bang, along with the neutral atoms created during the first few hundred thousand years.

    CMB per ESA/Planck


    For those millions of years, there’s simply never been a way to gather information from the electromagnetic part of the spectrum. But a combination of advances in computing and the new construction of an array of thousands of large-scale radio telescopes across twelve countries opens up an incredible possibility like never before: the ability to map the neutral atoms themselves.

    Distant sources of light — even from the cosmic microwave background [CMB, above] — must pass through clouds of gas. If there’s neutral hydrogen present, it can absorb that light, or, if it’s excited in some way, it can emit light of its own. Image credit: Ed Janssen, ESO [Includes inage of ESO’s VLT at Cerro Paranel, Chile].

    How can you see neutral atoms? After all, unless you’re dealing in either reflected light or with atoms that are themselves in an excited state, neutral atoms are some of the most optically boring materials that there are. Atoms are made of negatively charged electrons surrounding a positively charged nucleus, capable of occupying a variety of quantum states. But early on, for millions of years after the Big Bang, 92% of the atoms are the most boring type that exists: hydrogen, with a single proton and electron. While many different energy states exist, without any external source to excite it, hydrogen atoms are doomed to live in the lowest-energy (ground) state.

    The energy levels and electron wavefunctions that correspond to different states within a hydrogen atom. The energy levels are quantized in multiples of Planck’s constant, but even the lowest energy, ground state has two possible configurations depended on the relative electron/proton spin. Image credit: PoorLeno of Wikimedia Commons.

    But when you first make neutral hydrogen, not all the atoms are perfectly in the ground state. You see, in addition to energy levels, the particles in atoms also have a property called spin: their intrinsic angular momentum. A particle like a proton or an electron can either be spin up (+½) or spin down (-½), and so a hydrogen atom can either have the spins aligned (both up or both down) or anti-aligned (one up and the other down). The anti-aligned combination is slightly lower in energy, but not by much. The transition from an aligned state to an anti-aligned one takes millions of years to occur, and when it does, the atom emits a photon of a very particular wavelength: 21 centimeters.

    The 21-centimeter hydrogen line comes about when a hydrogen atom containing a proton/electron combination with aligned spins (top) flips to have anti-aligned spins (bottom), emitting one particular photon of a very characteristic wavelength. Image credit: Tiltec of Wikimedia Commons.

    Every time you undergo a burst of star formation, you ionize hydrogen atoms, meaning that electrons will fall back onto protons eventually, forming a large number of aligned atoms. By looking for this 21-cm signal, we can:

    construct a map of nearby, recent star formation,
    detect absorbing, neutral sources of anti-aligned gas,
    build a 3D map of neutral gas throughout the Universe,
    detect how star clusters and galaxies formed and evolved over time,
    and possibly detect the absorption and emission features of hydrogen gas immediately after, during, and possibly even before the formation of the first stars.

    Before the formation of the first stars, there’s still neutral hydrogen gas to observe, if we look for it in the right way. Image credit: European Southern Observatory.

    Lambda-Cold Dark Matter, Accelerated Expansion of the Universe, Big Bang-Inflation (timeline of the universe) Date 2010 Credit: Alex MittelmannColdcreation

    Somehow, this image seems fitting at this point.

    Next year, in 2018, just as the James Webb Space Telescope prepares for launch,

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    construction will begin on the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) [This is not correct. much has already been done. If Ethan skips over it, I will not let it pass uncovered.] SKA will wind up, at completion, being an array of some 4,000 radio telescopes, each approximately 12 meters in diameter, and capable of detecting this 21-cm line back farther than any galaxy we’ve ever seen. While the current galactic record-holder comes from when the Universe was just 400 million years old — 3% of its current age — SKA should be able to get the first 1% of the Universe that even James Webb might not see.

    Only because this distant galaxy, GN-z11, is located in a region where the intergalactic medium is mostly reionized, can Hubble reveal it to us at the present time. James Webb will go much farther, but SKA will image the hydrogen that’s invisible to all other optical and infrared observatories. Image credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI).

    To go beyond the first stars, or to arrive at a cosmic destination where no ultraviolet or visible light can pass through the opaque, intergalactic medium, you need to probe what’s actually there. And in this Universe, the overwhelming majority of what’s there, at least that we can detect, is hydrogen. That’s what we know is out there, and that’s what we’re building SKA with the intention of seeing. It will collect more than ten times the data per second than any array today; it will have more than ten times the data collecting power; and it is expected to map the entire Universe from here all the way back to before the first galaxies. We will learn, in the most powerful way ever, how stars, galaxies, and the gas in the Universe grew up and evolved over time.

    A single dish that’s currently part of the MeerKAT array will be incorporated into the Square Kilometer Array, along with around 4,000 other equivalent dishes. Image credit: SKA Africa Technical Newsletter, 1 (2016).

    A better image, and this is just South Africa:

    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    According to Simon Ratcliffe, SKA scientist, we know some of what we’re going to find with SKA, but it’s the unknowns that are the most exciting.

    “Every time we’ve set out to measure something, we’ve discovered something entirely surprising.”

    Radio astronomy has brought us pulsars, quasars, microquasars, and mysterious sources like Cygnus X-1, which turned out to be black holes. The entire Universe is out there, waiting for us to discover it. When SKA is completed, it will shed a light on the Universe beyond stars, galaxies, and even gravitational waves. It will show us the invisible Universe as it truly is. As with anything in astronomy, all we need to do is look with the right tools.

    O.K., not O.K., here is some of what Ethan did not include:

    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western

    Murchison Widefield Array,SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    Artist’s impression of the Mid-Frequency Aperture Array telescope when deployed on the African site (C) SKA Organisation

    SKA LOFAR core (“superterp”) near Exloo, Netherlands

    EMBRACE is the Electronic MultiBeam Radio Astronomy ConcEpt which is the Pathfinder instrument for the SKA at frequencies between 500MHz and 1500MHz.

    Seriously, Ethan, come back to me and tell me why you did not include these assets. After that, do a serious piece on Radio Astronomy that includes the Jansky VLA, the EHT, the European VLBI, The Global mm-VLBI Array, the NRAO VLBA. GBO, Parkes, The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, NASA’s DEEP SPACE NETWORK, and whatever else is slipping my mind. I could put in all of the images because I have them. But, you are fantastic with images, so I will leave it to you to do it right.

    See the full article here .

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    “Starts With A Bang! is a blog/video blog about cosmology, physics, astronomy, and anything else I find interesting enough to write about. I am a firm believer that the highest good in life is learning, and the greatest evil is willful ignorance. The goal of everything on this site is to help inform you about our world, how we came to be here, and to understand how it all works. As I write these pages for you, I hope to not only explain to you what we know, think, and believe, but how we know it, and why we draw the conclusions we do. It is my hope that you find this interesting, informative, and accessible,” says Ethan

  • richardmitnick 12:48 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chandra Archive Collection: Banking X-ray Data for the Future, , October 2015 American Archive Month   

    From Chandra: “Chandra Archive Collection: Banking X-ray Data for the Future” 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    10.8.15 [I missed this the first time around.]
    M.R. Khan


    To commemorate October as American Archive Month, six new images are being released from the Chandra Data Archive.

    The archive houses the data from Chandra’s observations, making them available for ongoing and future studies.

    In its over 16 years of operation, Chandra has observed thousands of objects across space.

    Archives, in their many forms, save information from today that people will want to access and study in the future. This is a critical function of all archives, but it is especially important when it comes to storing data from today’s modern telescopes.

    NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has collected data for over sixteen years on thousands of different objects throughout the Universe. Ultimately, all of the data goes into an archive and is available to the public.

    To celebrate American Archive Month, we are releasing a collection of new images from the Chandra archive. By combining data from different observation dates, new perspectives of cosmic objects can be created. With archives like those from Chandra and other major observatories, such vistas will be available for future exploration.

    X-ray & Infrared Images of W44
    Also known as G34.7-0.4, W44 is an expanding supernova remnant that is interacting with dense interstellar material that surrounds it. X-rays from Chandra (blue) show that hot gas fills the shell of the supernova remnant as it moves outward. Infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope reveal the shell of the supernova remnant (green) as well as the molecular cloud (red) into which the supernova remnant is moving and the stars in the field of view.

    NASA/Spitzer Telescope

    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Georgia/R.Shelton & NASA/CXC/GSFC/R.Petre; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


    Fast Facts for W44:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Georgia/R.Shelton & NASA/CXC/GSFC/R.Petre; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
    Scale Image is 52 arcmin across (about 126 light years)
    Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 18h 55m 59.3s | Dec +01� 20′ 07.0″
    Constellation Aquila
    Observation Dates 3 pointings on 31 Oct 2000, 23 and 25 Jun 2005
    Observation Time 38 hours 10 min (1 day 14 hours 10 min)
    Obs. IDs 1954, 5548, 6312
    Instrument ACIS
    References Shelton, R. et al, 2004, ApJ, 611, 906; arXiv:astro-ph/0407026
    Color Code X-ray (Cyan); Infrared (Red, Green, Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 8300 light years

    X-ray & Optical Images of SN 1987A
    First seen in 1987, this supernova (dubbed SN 1987A) was the brightest supernova and nearest one to Earth in the last century. In a supernova explosion, a massive star runs out of fuel then collapses onto their core, flinging the outer layers of the star into space. By combining X-ray data from Chandra (blue) with optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (appearing orange and red), astronomers can observe the evolution of the expanding shell of hot gas generated by the explosion and watch as a shock wave from the blast heats gas that once surrounded the doomed star. The two bright stars near SN 1987A are not associated with the supernova.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PUS/E.Helder et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)



    Fast Facts for Supernova 1987A:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/PUS/E.Helder et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
    Scale Image is 20 arcsec across (about 14 light years)
    Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 05h 35m 28.30s | Dec -69� 16′ 11.10″
    Constellation Dorado
    Observation Dates 4 pointings between Jan 2008 and Jan 2009
    Observation Time 22 hours 13 min
    Obs. IDs 9142, 9143, 9806, 10130
    Instrument ACIS
    Also Known As SN 1987A
    References Helder, E. et al, 2013, ApJ, 764, 11; arXiv:1212.2664
    Color Code X-ray (Blue); Optical (Red, Green, Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 160,000 light years

    X-ray & Optical Images of Kes 79
    Like SN 1987A, this object, known as Kesteven 79, is the remnant of a supernova explosion, but one that went off thousands of years ago. When massive stars run out of fuel, their cores collapse, generating a shock wave that flings the outer layers of the star into space. An expanding shell of debris and the surviving dense central core are often heated to millions of degrees, and give off X-rays. In this image of Kesteven 79, X-rays detected by Chandra (red, green, and blue) have been combined with an optical image from the Digitized Sky Survey of the field of view that reveals the stars (appearing as white).
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward et al, Optical: DSS)




    Fast Facts for Kes 79:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward et al, Optical: DSS
    Scale Image is 15.6 arcmin across (about 104 light years)
    Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 18h 52m 39.00s | Dec +00� 40′ 00.0”
    Constellation Aquila
    Observation Dates 31 Jul 2001
    Observation Time 8 hours 13 min
    Obs. IDs 1982
    Instrument ACIS
    References Sun, M. et al, 2004, ApJ, 605, 742; arXiv:astro-ph/0401165
    Color Code X-ray (Red, Green, Blue); Optical (Red, Green, Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 23,000 light years

    X-ray, Optical & Radio Images of MS 0735.6+7421
    The galaxy cluster MS 0735.6+7421 is home to one of the most powerful eruptions ever observed. X-rays detected by Chandra (blue) show the hot gas that comprises much of the mass of this enormous object. Within the Chandra data, holes, or cavities, can be seen. These cavities were created by an outburst from a supermassive black hole at the center of the cluster, which ejected the enormous jets detected in radio waves (pink) detected the Very Large Array.

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA

    These data have been combined with optical data from Hubble of galaxies in the cluster and stars in the field of view (orange).
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Waterloo/A.Vantyghem et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA)



    Fast Facts for MS 0735.6+7421:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Waterloo/A.Vantyghem et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA
    Scale Image is 3 arcmin across (about 2 million light years)
    Category Groups & Clusters of Galaxies
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 07h 41m 50.20s | Dec +74° 14′ 51.00″
    Constellation Camelopardalis
    Observation Dates 8 pointings between Nov 2003 and Jul 2009
    Observation Time 144 hours (6 days 47 min)
    Obs. IDs 4197, 10468, 10469, 10470, 10471, 10822, 10918, 10922
    Instrument ACIS
    References Vantyghem, A. et al, 2014, MNRAS, 442, 3192; arXiv:1405.6208
    Color Code X-ray: Blue; Optical: Gold; Radio: Pink
    Distance Estimate About 2.6 billion light years (z = 0.216)

    X-ray & Optical Images of 3C295
    The vast cloud of 50-million-degree gas that pervades the galaxy cluster 3C295 is only visible with an X-ray telescope like Chandra. This composite image shows the superheated gas, detected by Chandra (pink), which has a mass equal to that of a thousand galaxies. Hubble’s optical data (yellow) reveal some of the individual galaxies in the cluster. Galaxy clusters like 3C295 also contain large amounts of dark matter, which holds the hot gas and galaxies together. The total mass of the dark matter needed is typically five times as great as the gas and galaxies combined.
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Cambridge/S.Allen et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)




    Fast Facts for 3C295:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Cambridge/S.Allen et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
    Scale Image is 1.5 arcmin across (about 1.7 million light years)
    Category Groups & Clusters of Galaxies
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 14h 11m 20s | Dec -52� 12′ 21
    Constellation Boötes
    Observation Dates 2 pointings on 30 Aug 1999 and 18 May 2001
    Observation Time 33 hours 20 min (1 day 9 hours 20 min)
    Obs. IDs 578, 2254
    Instrument ACIS
    Also Known As Cl 1409+524
    References Allen, S. et al, 2001, MNRAS, 324, 842; arXiv:astro-ph/0101162
    Color Code X-ray: Purple; Optical: Yellow
    Distance Estimate About 4.7 billion light years (z=0.464)

    X-ray & Optical Images of Guitar Nebula
    The pulsar B2224+65 is moving through space very rapidly. Because of its high speed, the pulsar is creating a bow shock in its wake. This structure is known as the Guitar Nebula and the likeness of the musical instrument can be seen in the optical data (blue) of this composite image taken by Hubble and the Palomar Observatory.

    Caltech Palomar 200 inch Hale Telescope, at Mt Wilson, CA, USA

    X-ray data from Chandra (pink) reveal a long jet that is coincident with the location of the pulsar at the tip of the “guitar,” but is not aligned with its direction of motion. Astronomers will continue to study this system to determine the nature of this X-ray jet.
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/S.Johnson et al, Optical: NASA/STScI & Palomar Observatory 5-m Hale Telescope)



    Fast Facts for Guitar Nebula:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/S.Johnson et al, Optical: NASA/STScI & Palomar Observatory 5-m Hale Telescope
    Scale Image is 3.3 arcmin across (about 5 light years)
    Category Neutron Stars/X-ray Binaries
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 22h 25m 52.36s | Dec +65� 35′ 33.79”
    Constellation Cepheus
    Observation Dates 6 pointings between Oct 2000 and Aug 2012
    Observation Time 54 hours (2 days 6 hours)
    Obs. IDs 755, 6691, 7400, 13771, 14353, 14467
    Instrument ACIS
    References Johnson, S. et al, 2010, MNRAS, 408, 1216; arXiv:1003.1724
    Color Code X-ray (Pink); Optical (Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 4900 light years

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

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