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Here. There. Everywhere.

An online site to accompany the traveling exhibit from NASA, Chandra X-ray Observatory at Harvard, and the Smithsonian.

Spirals in Nature

The common spiral shape immediately brings to view the action of rotation. Water winds its way down the drain in a sink. Moist air spirals its way into the low-pressure center of a hurricane. Even the rotation of a galaxy imprints its structure in the form of dense spiral arms that trace regions of star formation.

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Bending of Light

When the path of a light ray is bent, the image of the light source becomes distorted. For example, light paths can be bent through the lenses of eyeglasses or through the warping of space by a cluster of galaxies.

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Where the Wind Blows

On Earth, winds can blow briefly during a storm, and over long time scales, as in the jet stream. Winds have also been detected on other planets, in the space between stars, and in galaxies.

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Seeding the Environment

The actions that facilitate new growth and evolution come in many stages. Bees distribute pollen, promoting reproduction in plants. Farmers seed and fertilize soil, enabling growth of selected plants. Supernova explosions distribute iron, oxygen, and other heavy elements necessary for the ultimate formation of planets and their contents.

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Shape of Speed

Bow waves are familiar sights in front of boats, and can be also formed in the atmosphere and in space when objects move more rapidly than the speed of waves in their liquid or gas environments.

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Light that Does Not Pass

You are relaxing with a book on a nice sunny day when a friend leans over your shoulder and the page goes dark. "Hey, you're blocking my light!" Any time an object blocks the light from another source, it forms a shadow.

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Pillars of Erosion

The relentless action of winds slowly carve away at the environment, leaving behind sculptures from erosion. Microchip fabrication uses particle beams to erode material and create structures on the surface. Prolonged wind erosion in deserts leaves behind columns of dense rock. Winds from bright stars blow away their surroundings to unveil dense regions of gas from which stars are forming.

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Flow of Electric Charge

Electric discharge can occur wherever there is a large build-up of electric charge, and can create spectacular displays of sudden energy release on Earth and in space.

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When Atoms Collide

Atoms, the building blocks of matter, are constantly in motion, moving around at speeds that are thousands of miles per hour at room temperature, and millions of miles per hour behind a supernova shock wave.

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