Today I have a couple of pictures that seem to have taken a bit of work to put together. You really need to click on the pictures to get the full impact.
The first is a picture of the center of the Milky Way (Image Credits: Hubble: NASA, ESA, and Q.D. Wang (University of Massachusetts, Amherst); Spitzer: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and S. Stolovy (Spitzer Science Center/Caltech):
The NICMOS mosaic required 144 Hubble orbits to make 2,304 science exposures from Feb. 22 and June 5, 2008.
The second is a picture of Pluto as it undergoes seasonal changes (Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)):
So, even Pluto is affected by the sun–the New Horizons probe will get better pictures to see what exactly is happening, but not until 2015. This picture took even more work than the last:
The Hubble images are a few pixels wide. But through a technique called dithering, multiple, slightly offset pictures can be combined through computer-image processing to synthesize a higher-resolution view than could be seen in a single exposure. “This has taken four years and 20 computers operating continuously and simultaneously to accomplish,” says Buie, who developed special algorithms to sharpen the Hubble data.
The Hubble research results appear in the March 2010 issue of the Astronomical Journal. Buie’s science team members are William Grundy of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz., and Eliot Young, Leslie Young, and Alan Stern of Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.
And since it’s Friday here’s a poem:
Are memories alive
Locked up in our eyes
What are these feelings
All mixed up inside.