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Wed Dec 31, 2014, 04:22 PM

The Year’s Most Awesome Photos of Space

Source: Wired



Mar. 23, 2014: Monkey Head Nebula Photos by NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)




June 28, 2014: Curiosity Selfie at Windjana Photos by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS




June 10, 2014: Tight Solar Loops Photos by NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory




November 13, 2014: Welcome to a Comet! ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA




June 15, 2014: Soaring Eagle Nebula Photos by Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona




October 12, 2014: The Most Amazing Thing This Man Has Ever Done ESA/NASA


Read more: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/best-photos-of-space-2014/

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Year’s Most Awesome Photos of Space (Original post)
demmiblue Dec 2014 OP
lpbk2713 Dec 2014 #1
byronius Dec 2014 #2
SheilaT Dec 2014 #3
secondvariety Dec 2014 #6
BlueJazz Dec 2014 #7
SheilaT Dec 2014 #8
Martin Eden Dec 2014 #4
VScott Dec 2014 #5
hunter Dec 2014 #10
VScott Dec 2014 #11
hunter Dec 2014 #12
Skidmore Jan 2015 #17
Delphinus Dec 2014 #9
Warren DeMontague Dec 2014 #13
lovemydog Dec 2014 #14
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2014 #15
Warren DeMontague Jan 2015 #16
Skidmore Jan 2015 #18

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 04:23 PM

1. Far out.






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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 05:31 PM

2. Excellent collection.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 05:34 PM

3. I see the one of the Soaring Eagle Nebula

 

is credited to the Mount Lemmon Sky Center/University of Arizona. Some of you may be interested to learn that the University of Arizona runs an adult astronomy camp, which I attended last year, 2013. It's over a weekend, you get to see how telescope mirrors are made, as the U of Arizona is one of the major makers of mirrors for telescopes, then go spend two nights up on Mount Lemmon and get to operate real telescopes.

Here's a link: http://www.astronomycamp.org/pages/adultcamp.html

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 06:32 PM

6. Wow.

That sounds awesome.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 06:41 PM

7. I'd be in heaven.

 

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 07:50 PM

8. It is awesome, you would be in heaven.

 

Don McCarthy, the astronomer who runs the program is just the most amazing natural teacher I've ever come across. He is amazing at getting you to figure out the answer to your question on your own. Plus, getting to operate a 61 inch telescope is beyond amazing. You get to do what real astronomers do. Plus, one add-on was getting to visit and talk with a guy who searches for near Earth objects, the ones that might potential impact our planet.

And Mount Lemmon, where you stay when at camp, and nearby Mt. Bigelow hare pretty much covered with telescopes, and you get to visit and operate more than one.

Both of my sons did the teen version of the camp back in the 90's, which is a full week. The younger son only once, but the older one three times, once beginner, twice advanced. That son is currently getting his degree in physics and wants to go on to get a PhD in astrophysics.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 05:47 PM

4. I see a demon standing on a cliff

at the top of Monkey Head Nebula

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 05:54 PM

5. Cool pics...

 

but I was disappointed to learn years ago that the actual objects really aren't that colorful
and what we see in the pictures has been added in by the researchers.

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Response to VScott (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 08:21 PM

10. Humans have really crappy color vision...

... actually, humans have really crappy vision all around.

Our brain itself does a lot of post-processing of the signal that comes from the eyes, and it's usually wrong assigning colors, especially in the case of low light or unfamiliar lighting situations. Space photos are an unfamiliar lighting situation with lower light levels.

We look at the moon at night and see it as white and gray, but it's actually a dark gray color and darker grays. Heck, we can't even tell how big it is; it looks bigger on the horizon than it does high in the sky.

Generally nothing is "added" to these astronomical pictures, the color information is there, it's simply enhanced for whatever medium it's published in, say an RGB computer monitor, or high quality "National Geographic" CMYK printing. It also makes sense to map what the instrument actually sees to the lesser capabilities of the human eye.

The most common scientific photos I see that are actually colorized are taken by scanning electron microscopes, where the "authentic" image isn't even made by light and thus wouldn't be visible to humans at all.

This is just one illustration of the complexity of human color perception:

http://www.planetperplex.com/en/item/chromatic-adaptation

There are plenty more than that.

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Response to hunter (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 08:37 PM

11. This explains the reasons for the color in the Hubble images

 

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Response to VScott (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 09:31 PM

12. "added color" to me would mean like colorizing an old black and white film.

The colors would be arbitrary, assigned by the artist. A car that was blue in the filming could be painted as red car, a yellow house could be painted as a green house in the colorized film.

In these space photographs the colors usually map precisely to a physical reality, just as the shades in this picture...



...map directly to the electron "image" formed in a scanning electron microscope.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade

On the other hand, sometimes scientific images are "colorized" for illustration purposes...



... but that's not generally true for astronomical images where color information is available.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130306.html

My own world is a blurry place when I'm not wearing my glasses, but that doesn't mean the "actual" view is blurry.

The Hubble telescope acts as a pair of glasses for the human race. What colors it "sees" and how they are translated into photographs is a fairly accurate reflection of the reality, well, except for the four point "lens flare" of the brighter stars.





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Response to hunter (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 11:59 AM

17. Those are amazing little critters.

Every time I see a picture of one, I wish they were at least the size of a catepillar in real life.

Thanks for the information. It's very helpful.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 08:12 PM

9. Thank you!!

Love 'em!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 09:42 PM

13. K&R

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 09:45 PM

14. Space is the place!

I love these photos. Thanks.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 09:53 PM

15. kick

 

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 08:49 AM

16. 2015 looks to be a banner year for space, too.

Hopefully we'll be getting our first close-up look at Ceres in March, and then Pluto in July I believe.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Thu Jan 1, 2015, 12:03 PM

18. That first picture makes me want to hop on the Enterprise

and shift the warp drive on.

The one that really grabs me is the least colorful of them--the picture of the comet. The imagination is stimulated by the knowledge that this actually happened. It is not something that is centuries away but exists in the present.

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