Galaxy Collision

Welcome to FTOOLS! This site offers links to a variety of tutorials that are designed to introduce you to the wealth of information on the web about Astronomy and Astrophysics, and ultimately to the basics of data analysis. Using NASA's FTOOLS package and High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), you will study satellite data from both past missions and the new CHANDRA satellite using such tools as light curves, energy spectra and image analysis.

On this page you will also find links to other sites related to Astronomy and Astrophysics. Take some time to check them out. They're full of useful information, plus audio clips, animations, and photographs of everything from colliding galaxies to brilliant supernovae.

Before you begin, please make sure that your system contains the following:

              Windows 98 or NT


              FTOOLS software package

              WinZip (The demo version will be sufficient and can be downloaded for free from

The table below lists the tutorials, each in two different formats. The .doc format can be opened in Microsoft Word, and the .pdf format can be opened in Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free from Simply click on the format you wish to use. (The files may take some time to fully open because of their size, so thank you for being patient.)

FTOOLS for Windows 95/98/NT (DOC) Using the HEASARC Archive and FTOOLS: EXOSAT (DOC)
FTOOLS for Windows 95/98/NT (PDF) Using the HEASARC Archive and FTOOLS: EXOSAT (PDF)
ROSAT Chandra
Using the HEASARC Archive and FTOOLS: ROSAT (DOC) Chandra (DOC)
Using the HEASARC Archive and FTOOLS: ROSAT (PDF) Chandra (PDF)

 Related Links 

 Astronomy Picture of the Day

 NASA Homepage

 NASA Multimedia Gallery

 Solar System Simulator

 J-Track satellite tracker

 Goddard Space Flight Center

 High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center

 Chandra Science

 Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Questions or Comments 

If you encounter any problems with either the tutorials themselves or with the material covered, or if you would like to comment on the contents of this page, please feel free to email one of the following people. Also, take a look at the Troubleshooting guide. It contains explanations of common problems that FTOOLS users encounter and known bugs in the FTOOLS software package. (Click here for .doc format or here for .pdf format.) Finally, words highlighted in blue throughout the tutorials can be found, along with many other terms, in the glossary compiled by the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center. Go to

Nori Laslo-Creator of webpage and tutorials; Rutgers College student, class of '01; majoring in Astronomy and Computer Science

Prof. Terry Matilsky-Professor of Astrophysics at Rutgers University, specializing in satellite observation and the investigation of new theories of gravity. Prof. Matilsky is also analyzing highly variable x-ray sources using techniques of non-linear dynamics and strange attractors.

Special thanks to:

Scream Design                Cool Archive
Last updated: 12-08-00