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Kimberly K. Arcand
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Kimberly K. Arcand is the Visualization Lead for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. She is the principal investigator for the international Aesthetics and Astronomy image and meaning research project. She is also co-author of the popular science book Light: The Visible Spectrum and Beyond with Megan Watzke.

Entries by Kimberly K. Arcand

7 Awesome Images of Light from 2015

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 5:19 PM

We are intimately connected with light in countless ways. From the practical (think of life without photosynthesis or heat from the Sun) to the convenient (modern technologies ranging from communication to health), light is part of our every day lives in a host of different ways.

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8 Reasons We Should Care About Light

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 2:17 PM

2015-12-29-1451396687-8024206-bio_image6.jpg Fireworks, a beautiful example of visible light, are often used to celebrate the start of the New Year. Credit: Colin Legg

As 2015 winds down, we find we have much in the world's events to look back on. One effort to...

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The True Story of Light

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 3:41 PM

The holiday season is often referred to as the season of lights. Light represents many things to different people -- everything from hope to rebirth to knowledge and goodness.

Candle light. Photo: Sander van der Wel from Netherlands,

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The Real Stars of the Show

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 1:17 PM

On October 19th, President Obama opened the White House lawn to host an event for thousands of stars. These stars were not celebrities, however, but those actual giant balls of gas and dust found throughout our Milky Way galaxy.

The event, dubbed the White House Astronomy Night, was intended to...

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Yes, There's Still a Need to Celebrate #WomenInSTEM

(5) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 2:11 PM

Ada Lovelace Day, which occurs on the second Tuesday of October every year, is an opportunity to celebrate women in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Is there still such a need to talk about #womeninstem?

Let's start with a little background on the...

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Earth Joins the Selfie Brigade

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2015 | 4:10 PM

Remember when you had to rely on seeing just a part of yourself in the reflection of a dark lake or in a small expensive piece of polished copper or silver-mercury? Probably not. I know that I, for one, take the highly reflective and often inexpensive modern mirrors for granted,...

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Applauding #girlswithtoys

(1) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 4:06 PM

Over the weekend, an online firestorm erupted when an astronomer referred to "boys with toys" when talking about telescopes during an interview with NPR. That comment might not, at first glance, seem particularly offensive. But it's yet one more recent example of a pervasive culture of bias --...

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Happy Birthday, Hubble: Seeing the Universe in a New Light

(9) Comments | Posted April 25, 2015 | 6:19 PM

If you are at all interested in astronomy, chances are you've already heard that the Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week. What some people may not know is that Hubble is one of four siblings, so to speak. Back in the 1980s, NASA commissioned...

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Light: Going Beyond the Bulb

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 5:01 PM

Caption: In this piece of art, light bulbs were placed in a medical X-ray machine. The artist then added color to the individual light bulbs to create the desired effect. Credit: Dr. Paula Fontaine/

Light is one of those things...

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I Spy: A Horse's Head?

(2) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 4:58 PM

Co-authored with Megan Watzke


A face in the clouds. Image: Frank Kovalchek, Wikimedia Commons

One of our favorite games to play with our kids (or just ourselves if we're being honest) is trying to find recognizable objects in...

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(Cosmically) Home for the Holidays (PHOTOS)

(6) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 6:50 PM

An illustration of our Solar System, with its Sun and its eight planets, plus dwarf planets, comets, etc. (Image: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Whether you brace yourself for the holidays or are actually able to embrace them (or a little bit of both), it's the time of...

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Top 10 Earth Selfies

(19) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 11:37 AM

Earth from Space (Credit: NASA/GSFC & AVHRR, NDVI, Seawifs, MODIS, NCEP, DMSP and Sky2000 star catalog; AVHRR and Seawifs; Reto Stockli; Marit Jentoft-Nils)

These days, it seems like you can't get online without stumbling across another selfie, whether from a celebrity or a...

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Preserving Our Skies -- And Our Future

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 4:08 PM

Co-authored by Megan Watzke, co-author of Your Ticket to the Universe: A Guide to Exploring the Cosmos from Smithsonian Books


Planet Earth's bright city lights. Credit: NASA GSFC

The stars are disappearing. At least, that's how it appears for...

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Pink Planets and Green Galaxies: Coloring the Universe

(3) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 12:45 PM

With the fleet of telescopes in space and giant observatories on the ground, we are in what many consider to be a golden age of astronomy. These powerful telescopes produce thousands if not millions of images a year, some of which make their way into the public realm. We see...

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