Imagine the Universe!

Welcome to Imagine the Universe! This site is intended for students age 14 and up, and for anyone interested in learning about our universe. If you're looking for grade school level astronomy information, please see the StarChild web site. Enjoy your cosmic journey!


Frame from animation of Black Hole Heartbeat

NASA's RXTE Detects 'Heartbeat' of Smallest Black Hole Candidate

An international team of astronomers has identified a candidate for the smallest-known black hole using data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The evidence comes from a specific type of X-ray pattern, nicknamed a "heartbeat" because of its resemblance to an electrocardiogram. The pattern until now has been recorded in only one other black hole system.

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Dr. Joanne 'Joe' Hill

Featured Scientist: Dr. Joanne 'Joe' Hill

Joanne "Joe" Hill was born in the UK, in Leicester, about 100 miles north of London. She grew up in a small village of 100 houses, and as a child she attended a small school with about 80 people. Later, she attended the University of Leicester because it had a strong space program. There, she was able to learn to build instrumentation that would be able to survive the space environment, which is the area of astronomy she most wanted to go into. "Ultimately, I wanted to be an astronaut. That was one of the drives behind it," she said.

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Featured Scientist Archive

Special Exhibit


Satellite Showcase: Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope

Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is the latest high energy gamma-ray observatory launched by NASA. It is designed to study energetic phenomena from a variety of celestial sources.

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Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

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