Hubble's Filters at Work

Click on each of the "Choose a Filter" buttons to see how galaxy NGC 1512 looks in seven different wavelength ranges.

Choose a Filter:Ultraviolet 1Ultraviolet 2Green
RedInfrared 1Infrared 2Infrared 3

filter type filter NGC 1512 - b/w

Full Spectrum Light
NGC 1512 - full color

Galaxy NGC 1512

filters
spectrum
UV, visible, IR light

Hubble's many filters allow it to record images in a variety of wavelengths of light. Since the cameras can detect light outside the visible light spectrum, the use of filters allows scientists to study "invisible" features of objects those only visible in ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths.

In the example to the left, galaxy NGC 1512 is represented in several different wavelengths. Hubble isolates these specific wavelengths using special filters. Choosing a particular filter reveals an image of the galaxy taken through that filter that is, in a specific wavelength range. The finished image at the far left is actually a combination of all the filtered images.

next >>