Processing Hubble Images
Processing Hubble images from archived data takes skill, care, and
technical know-how. Processors must be familiar with combining multiple
images, reducing noise, applying color, and adjusting brightness and
contrast, among other critical steps. They must have a working knowledge
of image processing software and a basic understanding of Hubble
instruments and data in order to pick out useful datasets, and to appropriately
scale intensities and assign colors to images. Finally, they must be able
to take into account the multiple challenges of creating a visually accurate
image, an informative image, and a beautiful image.
Visualizing Hubble Data
This article presents the basics for creating a Hubble image from unprocessed
data. The steps in this article have been outlined by Zolt Levay, Imaging
Group Lead in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute. For
the past 18 years, Levay has primarily been responsible for producing
publicly accessible images from Hubble Space Telescope data to illustrate
Hubble's science discoveries. He is Principal Investigator of the Hubble
Heritage Team, which strives to establish a repository of the visually
finest Hubble imagery.
The Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) is a NASA-funded
project to support and provide to the astronomical community a variety
of astronomical data archives, with the primary focus on scientifically related
data sets in the optical, ultraviolet, and near-infrared parts of the
spectrum. MAST stores data from Hubble, the International Ultraviolet Explorer, and more.
The Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA) is designed to optimize science from the Hubble
Space Telescope by providing Hubble data; online,
enhanced Hubble products; and advanced browsing capabilities.
The HLA is a joint project of the Space Telescope
Science Institute (STScI), the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility, and
the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre.
Free plugin for Adobe Photoshop
The ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator is a free plugin for Adobe
Photoshop, which makes it possible to process and edit astronomical
science data in the FITS format to produce stunning images of the universe.
The FITS file format archives nearly all images of stars, nebulae and
galaxies produced by space- and ground-based telescopes from all
over the world.
The engine behind the FITS Liberator is NASA's CFITSIO library. FITS is
an abbreviation for Flexible Image Transport System. It has been a standard
since 1982, and is recognized by the International Astronomical Union.