Broadcast 2921 Dr. Wallace Tucker

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Guest:  Dr. Wallace Tucker;  Topics: X-ray observatories, "Chandra's Cosmos" authored by our guest, related astronomy topics.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See

We welcomed Dr. Wallace Tucker to the program to discuss his new book, "Chandra's Cosmos: Dark Matter, Black Holes, and Other Wonders Revealed by NASA's Premier X-Ray Observatory."  During the first segment of our 92 minute program, Dr. Tucker introduced us to Chandra and the subject of x-ray observatories.  He talked about using Chandra together with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and the soon to be operational JWST.  He also described the original Chandra images and explained how they were "doctored" for us as images and for the book and for similar uses.  Our guest was also asked how the x-rays being studied by Chandra and other x-ray observatories differed from medical x-rays we get with our doctor.  Don't miss this explanation.  I also asked about the image and data transfer. We learned that there are 3 sites on Earth including a site in the Southern Hemisphere, one in Spain and one at the Goddard Spaceflight Center. 

Dr. Tucker divided his book into three parts, the Big which included dark energy, dark matter and more, the Bad section which included black holes and galaxy information and the final segment, which he called the Beautiful covering supernova explosions.  Our guest explained why the three part division plus he elaborated on the contents of each part.  Jerry from Denver asked if x-ray radiation could be used for life detection.  Don't miss what Wallace said about this.  You might be surprised.  Near the end of the first segment, Tim called from Huntsville to ask about the Schwarzschild radius.  Next, Allison wanted to know if Chandra could be aimed back at Earth and what might it see.  Again, don't miss what our guest said about this.  Hint:  Chandra has been used to look at Earth.  This discussion then led us to a short "is time travel possible" discussion.  Before the segment ended, Paul in Boston asked how the Chandra instruments were kept clean and the mirrors free of dust.  As you will hear, this was initially an area of great concern but then it was not as big an issue as experience with Chandra was obtained.  Don't miss what he had to say about space, dust, self-cleaning, and more.  Other x-ray observatories were mentioned before we ended the first segment.

In the second segment, several listeners wanted to know how Wallace got interested in studying space x-rays.  Wallace told us his personal story which was interesting.  As you will hear, many things happen because of timing, good luck, good fortune or anything other than routine.  See what you think of the story Wallace told us.  Later, he was asked if studying space x-ray radiation was a good path for future careers.  He had much to say about this including the multi-discipline approach.  Let us know what you think of his suggestion for preparing for a physics career for the future. 

Galaxies were discussed in this segment, especially galaxy clusters.  So were green black holes so named due to their recycling of energy.  Listener Linda asked Wallace to assess the likelihood of "new physics" being discovered.  Other topics discussed before the end of our program included Sirius A&B and their x-ray photographs used in the book, jet images, and the current state of the technology used by Chandra given it was launched by Columbia 17 years ago.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Dr. Wallace Tucker through me or The Chandra Observatory website.  




"Chandra's Cosmos" by Dr. Wallace H. Tucker

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30 May 2017 Dr. Wallace Tucker
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