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News Release Archive:

News Release 95 of 132

June 4, 2001 12:30 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2001-17

Build Your Own Space Scrapbook

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

June 4, 2001: Want to learn more about your favorite star or galaxy? NASA Hubble Space Telescope pictures and other information about thousands of stars and galaxies beyond our solar system are just a mouse click away by visiting the "Spectral/Image Scrapbook." The "scrapbook" was developed by the Multi-Mission Archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute (MAST) team in Baltimore, MD. This new astronomy Web resource provides easy access to the rich repository of black-and-white images and spectra of stars and galaxies stored in the MAST digital archives. While a picture shows astronomers what a celestial object looks like, a spectrum provides information about its physical nature and its motion toward or away from Earth. Astronomers analyze spectra and images of a celestial body to get a complete picture.

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Q & A: Understanding the Discovery

  1. 1. How much information is contained in the MAST archives?


  2. The MAST archives, which were created three and one-half years ago, consists of data taken in ultraviolet and visible light by NASA space-borne missions, such as the Hubble telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. The information from a variety of wavelength regions offers a complete spectrum or picture of a star or galaxy. Such comprehensive information helps to eliminate false impressions about the object from data covering only a few wavelength regions.

    The archives contain spectra of more than 10,000 astronomical objects, including more than 9,000 obtained from the International Ultraviolet Explorer, which was in operation from 1978 to 1996. The archives also house images of nearly 8,000 small regions of the sky observed by Hubble.

  3. 2. Can anyone use the scrapbook?


  4. The scrapbook was designed for astronomers, who will use it to quickly sample data from several missions. But the scrapbook also can be used in the classroom or at home. Students can explore actual data of stars and galaxies, rather than only viewing the smaller public gallery of beautiful Hubble pictures.

 
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Credit: NASA, Myron Smith and the MAST Scrapbook Team (STScI)

Illustration Credit: Ann Feild (STScI)