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A Tour of Flame Nebula

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
A new study of NGC 2024 and the Orion Nebula Cluster show stars on the outskirts of these clusters are older than those in the middle.

A Tour of Pictor A

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The Universe produces phenomena that often surpass what science fiction can conjure.

A Tour of NGC 5195

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Astronomers using Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered evidence for powerful blasts produced by a giant black hole.

A Tour of Zwicky 8338

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
An extraordinary ribbon of hot gas trailing behind a galaxy like a tail has been discovered using data from Chandra X-ray Observatory.

A Tour of V745 Sco

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
For decades, astronomers have known about irregular outbursts from the double star system V745 Sco, which is located about 25,000 light years from Earth.

Waves of Matsushima Curator Tour

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Zoom in on this masterpiece by Japanese artist Tawaraya Sōtatsu as our narrator presents Curator James Ulak's insights into the biography of the artist and his historic impact on Japanese and European artists alike.

Virtual Tour of the ArtLab

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
We have lots of new equipment at the ArtLab! Come try it out. It's all free to use!

Tour of Dogfish Head Brewery

Smithsonian Magazine
Read more at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Beer-Archaeologist.html One of the brains behind the famed Delaware brewery talks about what goes into producing one of their beers.

Binding the Nation Exhibit Tour

National Postal Museum
A short video about the 'Binding the Nation' Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Souvenirs of the Grand Tour

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
This jewelry parure, or suite, is indicative of a custom that was unique to its time and class. The Grand Tour was a traditional trip taken by upper class young men and women, with the goal of exposing them to the artistic riches of France and Italy, thereby completing their education. These long sojourns became...

Docents Conducting Tour of NASM

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Featured in TORCH, July 1977

A docents conducting a tour in the National Air and Space Museum.

Visitors from Togo Tour ANM

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Torch, 10/1974, p. 3.

Visitors from Togo tour the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum with Director John R. Kinard, and head of the educational department, Zora Martin [later Zora Martin-Felton]. "The Togolese officials were interested in the role of the Smithsonian in the cultural life of the United States and Washington, particularly in seeing how the neighborhood museum works with young people displaying arts and crafts pertaining to the United States and Africa."

Tour of the Renwick Gallery

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Digital contact sheet available.

Tour of the Renwick Gallery given to Mary Livingston Ripley and unidentified associates.

Smithsonian Associates Tour of Zoo

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as 61698.

Digital contact sheet available.

Smithsonian Associates provide a tour for children of the National Zoological Park (NZP).

Smithsonian Associates Tour of Zoo

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as 61698.

Digital contact sheet available.

Smithsonian Associates provide a tour for children of the National Zoological Park (NZP).

Silvio Bedini Conducts a Tour

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Also known as 61331.

Digital contact sheet available.

Assistant Director Silvio Bedini conducts a tour for students of the White House school at Museum of History and Technology, now known as National Museum of American History. The tour includes the First Ladies exhibit, Old Drugstore, Agriculture Hall, Carousel Animals, and Faith Bradford's Dolls' House.

Walter Allner Australia Lecture Tour

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

The Paul McCartney World Tour

National Museum of American History

A Tour of NGC 4696

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
The Centaurus Cluster is a collection of hundreds of galaxies located about 145 million light years from Earth. At the center of the cluster is a large elliptical galaxy called NGC 4696. Buried within the core of NGC 4696 lies a supermassive black hole. Astronomers have been studying the Centaurus Cluster using several different telescopes to learn more about this system. Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Very Large Array, and the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed evidence for multiple outbursts, or eruptions, from the black hole in NGC 4696 that date back millions of years. When these eruptions happen, they send energy and particles outward, affecting things like the chemical composition of the interstellar material as well as the rate of star formation. By employing a special type of processing of the X-ray data, the astronomers also discovered a sequence of curved features, approximately equally spaced, in the hot gas detected by Chandra. These arcs may be caused by sound waves generated by the black hole’s repeated bursts. In a galaxy cluster, the hot gas that fills the cluster enables sound waves – albeit at frequencies far too low for the human hear to detect – to propagate. Researchers will continue to study the Centaurus Cluster and others like it to learn more about how galaxy clusters and the black holes within them grow and evolve over time.

A Tour of G11.2-0.3

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
While they may sound like very different and distinct fields, astronomy and history can intersect in very interesting and important ways. Take, for example, historical supernovas and their remnants. These are objects that astronomers observe today and that can also be linked to recordings in previous centuries or even millennia. Being able to tie a credible historical event with a supernova remnant observed today provides crucial information about these explosive stellar events. Until now, the supernova remnant G11.2-0.3 was considered one of these historical supernova remnants. Previous studies have suggested that G11.2-0.3 was created in a supernova that was witnessed by Chinese astronomers in 386 CE. New Chandra data, however, of this circle shaped debris field, indicate that is not the case. The latest information from Chandra reveals that there are dense clouds of gas that lie between Earth and the supernova remnant. Therefore, it is not possible that much optical light from the supernova - the kind of light humans can see - would have penetrated the clouds and been visible with the naked eye at Earth. While it may no longer be a historical supernova remnant, G11.2-0.3 remains an intriguing and beautiful object that astronomers will continue to study. More information at http://chandra.si.edu/photo/2016/g11/

Associates Tour of the HMSG

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Featured in TORCH, June 1986

At a conservation demonstration by conservator Susan Lake, visiting Associates tour the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Onlookers are (l-r): Albert Camarillo (Stanford), Dwight Henderson (University of Texas), Philip Young (University of Oregon), Robert Perry (Bowling Green State), Mary Jean Moseley (Fort Lewis College), Suzanne Brooks (Penn State), Fellowships and Grants Program Assistant Carolin McManus, and Ray Branham.

A Tour of CL J1001

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Galaxy clusters are incredibly important objects in the Universe since they are the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity. Many galaxy clusters contain hundreds or even thousands of galaxies, enormous amounts of hot gas, and giant reservoirs of dark matter. For as much as they already know about galaxy clusters, astronomers are still seeking to learn more. This includes learning about how galaxy clusters first formed in the early Universe. A new discovery by a team of researchers may represent an important step in that direction. Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes on the ground and in space, researchers recently found a galaxy cluster that is about 11.1 billion light years from Earth. In addition to its remarkable distance, this cluster, known as CL J1001+0220, also displays some intriguing qualities. For example, astronomers find that the core of this cluster is ablaze with star formation. This is quite different from other galaxy clusters observed by astronomers, where star formation rates are very low. It may be that this galaxy cluster represents a brief, but important, stage of the evolution where a cluster transitions from a still-forming cluster into a mature one. Astronomers hope that they will learn a lot about the formation of clusters and the galaxies they contain by studying this object. More information at http://chandra.si.edu/photo/2016/clj1001/

A Tour of Alpha Centauri

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
In humanity's search for life outside our Solar System, one of the best places to look is Alpha Centauri, a system containing the three nearest stars beyond the Sun. A new study that has involved monitoring of Alpha Centauri for more than a decade by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory provides encouraging news about one key aspect of planetary habitability. It indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars in the Alpha Cen system are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars. Alpha Centauri is a triple star system located just over four light years, or about 25 trillion miles, from Earth. While this is a large distance in terrestrial terms, it is three times closer than the next nearest Sun-like star. The stars in the Alpha Centauri system include a pair called "A" and "B," that we'll call AB, which orbit relatively close to each other. Alpha Cen A is a near twin of our Sun in almost every way, including age, while Alpha Cen B is somewhat smaller and dimmer but still quite similar to the Sun. The third member, Alpha Cen C (also known as Proxima), is a much smaller red dwarf star that travels around the AB pair in a much larger orbit that takes it more than 10 thousand times farther from the AB pair than the Earth-Sun distance. Proxima currently holds the title of the nearest star to Earth, although AB is a very close second. The Chandra data reveal that the prospects for life in terms of current X-ray bombardment are actually better around Alpha Cen A than for the Sun, and Alpha Cen B fares only slightly worse. Proxima, on the other hand, is a type of active red dwarf star known to frequently send out dangerous flares of X-ray radiation, and is likely hostile to life.

A Tour of Supernova 1987A

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Thirty years ago on February 24, 1987, observers in the southern hemisphere noticed a new object in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Today, we know this object as Supernova 1987A, and it was one of the brightest supernova seen in hundreds of years. Coupled with its relative proximity at about 160,000 light years from Earth, Supernova 1987A became one of the best opportunities ever for astronomers to study the phases before, during, and after the death of a star. Since its discovery, telescopes around the world and in space have observed Supernova 1987A. This includes NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which has looked at this object repeatedly during its 17 years of science operations. From 1999 until 2013, Chandra data showed an expanding ring of X-ray emission that had been steadily getting brighter. This was produced by the blast wave from the original explosion that had been bursting through and heating the ring of gas surrounding the supernova. In the past few years, there have been striking changes in the Chandra data. This provides evidence that the explosion’s blast wave has moved beyond the ring into a region with less dense gas. This represents the end of an era for SN 1987A. Since astronomers do not know exactly lies beyond the ring, they will be watching carefully what happens next. Over the next few thousand years, the expanding shell of hot gas will continue to glow in X rays. Eventually after rumbling across several thousand light years, the shell will disperse. By doing this, the supernova spreads the heavy elements created in the star and possibly triggers the formation of new stars from a cold interstellar cloud. Using data from Chandra and other telescopes, astronomers will continue to learn more about the details of this very important process that is responsible for life as we know it.
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