This is a very young star cluster located within the Carina nebula. These are newly formed stars and we are peering at them through a reddening nebula of dust and gas. The longpass near-infrared filter cuts through much of the nebula and reveals many apparently dimmer stars as reddish pinpricks of light. I have adjusted the colors so that the brighter, whiter stars and their surroundings appear bluer because this is a young cluster. In reality, they are at least a little reddened.
Another interesting view of this cluster was done using the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory. I think it is a great example of the power of adaptive optics. You can use that funny string of six stars in the middle right to help orient yourself.
There is an interesting arc of cloud at the bottom edge of the frame. A paper discussing its possible nature is available.
Many long hours were spent carefully removing charge bleeds to the best of my ability. The closeness of the stars to one another meant that there was much overlapping of diffraction spikes and charge bleeds which compounded the situation. Not the hardest thing in the world to deal with but it is tedious and I found it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time on the task. Cosmic rays are easier. I can throw on some music and zone out while dotting them away. There were a few very nasty filter ghosts that had to be dealt with. I ended up using the Ha data, which had no such problems, to compensate for these large anomalies in the green and blue channels. This is not an ideal solution but it is better than nothing and it is also a little better than what I usually do, which is to manually darken them with a masked curves adjustment layer. The problem is that the Ha of course looks very little like an f550m or f435w filter except for the placement of the stars and some vague details of the nebula. In particular, it was very helpful in clearly revealing that nice, dark globule which was severely compromised. Anyway, I did the best that I could.
This image is possible thanks to the collective efforts of individuals involved with proposals 10602 and 10241.
Red: HST_10602_a1_ACS_WFC_F850LP_sci + hlsp_carina_hst_acs-wfc_14_f658n_v1_sci_sci
North is NOT up. It is 31.2° counterclockwise from up.
Tags: Trumpler 14 Carina star cluster young HLA HST Hubble
Small town galaxy. Not a lot going on here, but it is a nice place to live with a good view of the sky. Don't get all the light pollution and as much dust as you'd get from a big, bustling galaxy.
Data from the following proposal is used to create this image:
Establishing HST's Low Redshift Archive of Interacting Systems
All channels: ACS/WFC F606W
North is 59.28° counter-clockwise from up.
Tags: HST Hubble dwarf galaxy Prop15446 15446 stars small
Edit 2014 Feb 28: Whoops, that's not a moon, it's Venus. This particular image was already featured at JPL's Cassini website, here. I'll have to get better at tracking these things down. I also missed the speck of a star which ended up disappearing when I cleaned up the various hot pixels polluting the image, which is now fixed. Planetary imaging is definitely challenging. My image is at least slightly different, though. I used Infrared, Blue, and Violet filters instead of the RGB ones because I thought Saturn's limb had overexposed-looking hard white edges in the RGB filters. The trade-off is that the colors are shifted a little from natural.
Saturn's E and G rings are most easily viewed when the Sun is occulted. There is an unidentified satellite between the limb of Saturn and the G ring. If it's one of the smaller ones it could be hard to tag.
These data were acquired in January 2013.
Red: CB3 (Infrared)
Green: BL1 (Blue)
Blue: VIO (Violet)
START_TIME >= 2013-01-04 22:48:19.0
START_TIME <= 2013-01-04 22:54:07.0
Instrument = ISS
Tags: Saturn G Ring E Ring Cassini PDS Planetary Image Atlas
Sometimes what we see depicted in fictional scenes of Earth looks more like the image on the right. It seems plausible because from our vantage point on the surface the sky seems so high. Astronauts experience something which has been called the overview effect when they see for themselves our thin atmosphere and how fragile and precious our planet really is.
Compare the left model which much more closely resembles reality to the right model which is very much a fantasy world. We fly through this tenuous layer as if it were our entire world—endless and immutable.
Created using Blender 2.72b and Cycles render using NASA's Blue Marble data.
Tags: Earth atmosphere fragile Blender Cycles Blue Marble
From Hubble in narrowband red, mediumband green and blue filters. I did not enhance the saturation for this image; the filter choices manage to separate the colors on their own with little processing effort required.
It is important to note that no one has seen a clear image of Neptune directly without the aid of a camera and various processing techniques. With that in mind, I have tried to modify my Hubble processing to match more closely with the Voyager 2 data. I have noted that the blue channel must be more emphasized, and the green channel less emphasized to approach what others have reported seeing regarding the human-perceived color of the planet. I have relied on the advice of H. B. Hammel and Björn Jónsson from short Twitter exchanges. Here and here.
I would guess that this is more saturated than Neptune may appear to a human eye, but it's hard for me to say. Based on this and the Voyager 2 data, I am intrigued by the possibility that the pinkish limb may be visible to a human eye, if a human was ever to travel there and bear intimate witness to such an elusive majesty.
The high clouds in the northern hemisphere have been evolving for the past few years. Previously, bright cloud formations have been noted nearer to the equator. They are large enough and bright enough that amateur astronomers have also been recording them and collaborating with pros. (Hat tip Björn Jónsson)
The easiest way to see the changes documented that I know if is via the OPAL website, by loading the various Neptune tables. archive.stsci.edu/prepds/opal/
Red: WFC3/UVIS F657N
Green: WFC3/UVIS F547M
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F467M
North is up.
Tags: Neptune visible Hubble HST UVIS clouds OPAL outer planet ice giant 14756