Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space

Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space

Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space

Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space

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With a fleet of telescopes in space and giant observatories on the ground, professional astronomers produce hundreds of spectacular images of space every year. These colorful pictures have become infused into popular culture and can found everywhere, from advertising to television shows to memes. But they also invite questions: Is this what outer space really looks like? Are the colors real? And how do these images get from the stars to our screens?

Coloring the Universe uses accessible language to describe how these giant telescopes work, what scientists learn with them, and how they are used to make color images. It talks about how otherwise un-seeable rays, such as radio waves, infrared light, X-rays, and gamma rays, are turned into recognizable colors. And it is filled with fantastic images taken in far-away pockets of the universe. Informative and beautiful, Coloring the Universe will give space fans of all levels an insider’s look at how scientists bring deep space into brilliant focus.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781602232730
Publisher: University of Alaska Press
Publication date: 11/15/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 551,943
Product dimensions: 10.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Travis A. Rector is professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has created over two hundred images with the giant telescopes at Gemini Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and others.

Kimberly Kowal Arcand directs visualization efforts for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, at the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC) located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Megan Watzke is the public affairs officer for the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Table of Contents

Foreword by David Malin

1. Human versus Telescope: Comparing Telescopic Vision with Human Vision
Seeing is Believing
Three Things a Telescope Does

2. This Is Not a Selfie: How Telescopes and Their Cameras Work
How a “Visible-Light” Telescope Works
Starlight, Camera, Action!
Calibrating the Camera

3. Coloring the Universe: Broadband Images, and How We Use Color
Show your True Colors
Making Color in Photography
Putting Color into Astronomical Images
Broadband Filters

4. Color is Knowledge: What Scientists Learn from Color with Broadband Filters
Stars in Living Color
Diamonds and Dust
The Colors of Galaxies

5. A Brief History of Astronomical Images: The History of How (and Why) Images are made
The Era of Photographic Plates
Astronomy for Everyone
The Rise of the Electronic Camera
The Year that Was 1994
Onward to the Future
The Time is Now

6. The Marvel of Hydrogen: The Most Important Element and How we see it
Element Number One
The Birth of Stars
Jets from Forming Stars
Choosing the Colors

7. Seeing Red: How We See Color, and How We Use it
How Our Eyes See Color
Interpretation of Color
Perception of Temperature
Here and Far
Not Paint by Numbers

8. Narrowband Imaging: Addition by Subtraction
The spaces between the Notes
Give me Oxygen
When a Star Hits Empty
Fifty Shades of Red
The “Hubble Palette” and Beyond
Big Stars go Bang

9. A Night in the Life: Observing with the Word’s Largest Telescopes
These are Professional Grade
Reservations Required?
Working Dusk till Dawn
Remote Control

10. Outside the Rainbow: The electromagnetic spectrum, different kinds of Light
The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Radio, Radio
Microwaves: More than the Oven
Infrared: Can You Feel the Heat?
Visible: The Tiny Slice You Can See
Ultraviolet: Light My Way
X-rays: Beyond the Dentist’s Office
Gamma Rays: Light to the Extreme
The Visible Made Visible

11. Photoshopping the Universe: What Do Astronomers Do? What Do Astronomers Not Do?
From Data to an Image
Enter Photoshop
Cleaning the Image
What Not to Do

12. The Aesthetics of Astrophysics: Principles of Composition Applied to the Universe
The Sharpness of an Image
Color Contrasts
The Composition of an Image
Structure and Detail
The Natural and Supernatural
Anatomy of and Image: Breakdown of the Pillars of Creation
Scientific and Beautiful

Epilogue: Seeing the Eye (and Hand) of God: Pareidolia, or Seeing Faces/Objects in Astronomical Imagery

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