Posts Tagged ‘galaxies’

Tilt-Shift Effect Applied to Photographs of the Cosmos to Create a ‘Tiny Universe’

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Photographs of galaxies far far away rarely convey just how large what you’re looking at really is — after all, how can you even fathom something that is measured in light years across. But these photos of the cosmos do an even worse job. By applying the tilt-shift effect in post, these photos show galaxies and nebulae look like they could fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. Read more…

Building a DIY Barn Door Tracking Mount for Long-Exposure Astrophotography

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Getting quality astrophotography shots comes with several challenges, and one of the main ones is that the starts don’t stand still — or, more accurately, we don’t. Since the Earth enjoys spinning on its axis once every 24-hours or so, exposures in excess of about 1 second begin producing star trails unless you have the camera or telescope on some sort of tracking mount.

Fortunately, if you don’t have the money to purchase a $1,000+ equatorial mount but still want to take long-exposure astrophotography, the DIY barn door tracking mount above will enable you to do so on the (relatively) cheap. Read more…

NASA Constructs 160-Megapixel Mosaic of Neighboring Galaxies

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High-resolution photography is seemingly where it’s at in today’s day and age. NASA knows this, and as such, astrophysicists at both the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Maryland and Pennsylvania State University have stitched together a remarkable 160-megapixel UV image of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds — our two closest neighboring galaxies (less than 200,000 light years away). Read more…

The Beauty of Space Photography: Why and How We Photograph the Void

Astrophotography, especially the type taken by $10 billion telescopes floating around in outer space, is both fascinating and beautiful. The photos offer so much, both from an artistic and scientific standpoint. Awe-inspiring glimpses into the great void are now widely available, making these unbelievably distant galaxies seem almost touchable.

In the video above, PBS got together Astrophysicist Dr. Emily Rice, Hubble Image Processor Zolt Levay and Astronomer David W. Hogg to discuss the beauty and importance of space photography — explaining a little bit of the why and how behind our photographic search of the universe. Read more…

Animation Shows How the Galaxy Shapes in Space Photos Come About

Space collisions are massive, unbelievably powerful events. When two galaxies collide — that is, when their gravitational fields start interacting with one another — the resulting billion-year-long process contorts and twists the galaxies into the fascinating shapes we’ve seen in photographs taken by powerful space telescopes.

The above video is a supercomputer simulation of two galaxies going through a many-hundred-million-year-long collision. As the galaxies merge into the known stages of collision that have been photographed by Hubble, the video is paused and replaced with a photograph of that stage taken IRL. Read more…

Big Bang: Abstract Photograms Created by Exposing Photo Paper to Fireworks

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What kind of imagery results when you mix photo paper and fireworks? That’s a question photographic artist Ross Sonnenberg has been exploring for the past few years. He creates one-of-a-kind camera-less photograms that look like abstract images of galaxies, but are actually random and colorful patterns created by the light of firecrackers.
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The World’s Most Powerful Digital Camera Snaps Its First Photos

On a mountaintop in Chile is the most powerful digital camera mankind has ever constructed. Called the Dark Energy Camera, the phone booth-sized device shoots 570-megapixel photographs using an array of 62 separate CCD sensors and a 13-foot light-gathering mirror. Planning and building the thing took 120 scientists from 23 international organizations a whopping 8 years.

This past week, the researchers behind the project announced the first fruits of their labor: massive photographs that show patches of the sky 20 times the size of the moon (as seen from Earth).
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Outer Space in a Studio: Nebulae Photos Using Fiber Glass Lamps

At first glance, the images in Fabian Oefner‘s Nebulae might look like images of distant galaxies captured with a space telescope. They were actually shot in a studio using a number of fiber glass lamps. Oefner used exposures of different lengths to capture the ends of the lit fiber glass as points and streaks of light. He then combined multiple images into single photos to achieve the “star density” seen in the final images.
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What Night Sky Photographs Will Look Like Over the Next 7 Billion Years

NASA astronomers announced today that they are certain that our galaxy is on an unavoidable collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest spiral galaxy to us. Don’t worry though, it won’t be happening for another 3.5 billion years or so. What’s interesting is that the collision will drastically change what our night sky looks like, and the astronomers released a series of photo illustrations showing what future astrophotographers will be shooting when they point their cameras at the heavens.
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55-Hour Exposure of a Tiny Patch of Sky Reveals 200,000 Galaxies

This photo is what you get when you point a massive 4.1 meter telescope (VISTA in Chile) at an unremarkable patch of night sky and capture six thousand separate exposures that provide an effective “shutter speed” of 55 hours. It’s an image that contains more than 200,000 individual galaxies, each containing countless stars and planets (to put the image into perspective, the famous Hubble Ultra-Deep Field contains “only” around 10,000 galaxies). And get this: this view only shows a tiny 0.004% of the entire sky!
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