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Hubble Releases First Post-Upgrade Images

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the new-prescription-much-nicer dept.

Space 129

Hynee writes "As tweeted, NASA has released 10 new images, all from the new WFC3 instrument and others, including the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. Images include NGC 6302, Carina Nebula, Stephan's Quintet, Markarian 817, Abell 370, and a few others. Great looking stuff, the WFC3 has twice the resolution of the WF/PC2, on the CCD at least, if memory serves correctly. Eta Carina is a fascinating object, and there are at least two releases in this 'Early Release Observations' set." Here is a video about the new images at Hubblesite.org, and a full HubbleSite.org release page with 56 images.

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bof (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372187)

it's just a diversion.

Re:bof (3, Funny)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374535)

So, this is the upgraded First Post the headline was talking about?

I don't see the improvement.

Blurry... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372221)

Somebody needs to wipe that jizz off the lens.

Colors in photographs (4, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372269)

I bet we've got a really smart person out there that knows the answer for this, for sure. I asked my professor and they really danced around and didn't give a straight answer (it was a community college).

What about these brilliant colors we always see in the photographs? Are they touched up (I've read and NASA insists, "no, they're not")? Are they extrapolations based on the inferred composition of the gases in a nebula, for example? Or is it honest to goodness, if we were parked in a space ship a few million miles away, exactly what our eyes would register?

Re:Colors in photographs (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372343)

I bet we've got a really smart person out there that knows the answer for this, for sure. I asked my professor and they really danced around and didn't give a straight answer (it was a community college). What about these brilliant colors we always see in the photographs? Are they touched up (I've read and NASA insists, "no, they're not")? Are they extrapolations based on the inferred composition of the gases in a nebula, for example? Or is it honest to goodness, if we were parked in a space ship a few million miles away, exactly what our eyes would register?

Your answer is on the FAQ in one of the linked sites here [hubblesite.org] :

There are no "natural color" cameras aboard the Hubble and never have been. The optical cameras on board have all been digital CCD cameras, which take images as grayscale pixels.

Sometimes the color is as natural as possible. However, the color given to the images is not just "artistic embellishment." The images are, indeed, downloaded as black and white, and color is added for a number of different reasons -- for example, to show the dispersion detail of chemical elements and highlight features so subdued that the human eye cannot see them.

For more information, read The Meaning of Color [hubblesite.org] on HubbleSite, which explains in detail how color is added to images.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372463)

very interesting... Great question by the poster, and a great answer by you... YOU GET A COOKIE!

I'm gonna go read about this now...

Re:Colors in photographs (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373165)

Sorry, I block all cookies.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376641)

How about some pie?

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372827)

It makes sense, the cameras in the Hubble Telescope capture more then just the colour spectrum, they also capture Infrared and Gamma rays, which are invisible to our eyes so the colours help express exactly whats going on in that cluster of stars.

What I don't get is why we don't have more than one Camera up there, one with Natural Colour, and one with the greyscale wider range cameras.

Re:Colors in photographs (5, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372949)

Because all digital cameras are greyscale. It is simply a matter of which filters are placed in front of which pixels. So your question becomes "why don't we have filters to mimic what the eye naturally sees?", and the answer to that is that (A) they can get better science out of the filters they have, and (B) If they use a particular set of filters they can mathematically generate what the eye sees, so there's really no need. The Hubble isn't a coin op sightseeing telescope, it is a precision scientific instrument.

Re:Colors in photographs (4, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372987)

Indeed, and for those folks wondering how the digital camera works that they have at home, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_filter [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373393)

And do you know how much Nikon wants if you don't want the Bayer filter on your D80?
Last time I asked I was referred to their scientific department... (IOW too damn expensive).

Related: does anyone know if this filter is removable (and by extension who offers that service?)
-nB

Bayer filters (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373729)

Related: does anyone know if this filter is removable (and by extension who offers that service?)

There should be, there are services that convert digital cameras [photo.net] to infrared [photocrati.com]

Falcon

Re:Bayer filters (2, Informative)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373791)

That's different. An infrared camera has the ir filter removed and an additional filter added to block non-ir light (see the video here http://www.lifepixel.com/ [lifepixel.com] ). The old filter blocked ir light across the entire sensor. It's essentially like any other filter you would put on your lens. A Bayer filter is completely different. It filters each individual cell of the sensor with one of three colors. Each cell knows which color was used to filter it. It would have to be implemented on the sensor itself.

Re:Colors in photographs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29374723)

Bayer filters are patterned during the lithographic process. The monochrome version is a completely different part, one made in much smaller volume. Generally the only users of good quality monochrome CCD/CMOS sensors are scientific or machine vision users, much lower volume markets.

Since you want a monochrome detector, you probably know about the problems with interpolating colors with a Bayer filter camera. The Foveon chip http://www.foveon.com/ was an attempt to get around this by having the R, G, B, sensitive pixels on separate layers so that all three colors were registered laterally. Neat concept, and would allow for good monochrome images as well. However, many were dissatisfied with the results. I seem to recall that they were noisy, had giant pixels/low pixel counts, and the color rendition was strange. I haven't looked at them in a few years, maybe they've solved the problems now.

Re:Colors in photographs (3, Informative)

E-Lad (1262) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375643)

As already mentioned, the Bayer filter is part of the CMOS sensor itself. It's not a separate part that's tacked on near the end of the manufacturing process.

There is, however, a separate filter in front of the sensor on pretty much every DSLR. This is a IR cut-off filter. Naked CMOS sensors are very sensitive into the IR spectrum. This high-pass IR filter prevents deep red and IR from overwhelming the resulting image, producing a balanced red against the green and blue end of the visible spectrum.

There are several cases where one would want to modify their DSLR and have this filter removed. The primary users of this method are astrophotographers who wish to use a much cheaper DSLR on their telescopes vs. a very expensive [sbig.com] purpose-made camera. There are a few small companies such as Hutech [hutech.com] which can perform this service under warranty.

Why?

Nebulas and stars in particular emit light (human-visible and not) in a variety of specific wavelengths. These particular wavelengths are produced by ionized elements in the star or nebula complex. In your run-of-the-mill nebula, copious amounts of Hydrogen-alpha and doubly-ionized Oxygen tend to produce much of the light. H-alpha's emission line is deep in to the red spectrum, which the IR cut filter on DSLRs dutifully blocks from reaching the sensor. Removing this filter lets the DSLR capture additional light and detail from the nebula... stuff you wouldn't get with a stock DSLR.

If you take a stock DSLR and try to image (for example) the Horsehead Nebula [wikipedia.org] , you're not going to get far because the thing emits almost entirely in the H-alpha band. Put on a camera that doesn't cut the deep red, and you'll get a result that's closer to what you'd expect.

There is a trade-off to doing this mod, of course... in that you're effectively turning your DSLR into a IR camera, and if you want it to be close to normal again, you'll need to put a IR filter on your lens.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373395)

Long story short, color cameras aren't conducive to science, just shiny and "oohhh, ahhhh". It's just one more thing to maintain that won't help anyone.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373677)

First, thanks for the link to the faq [hubblesite.org] .

Now onto the quote you provide,"There are no "natural color" cameras aboard the Hubble and never have been. The optical cameras on board have all been digital CCD cameras, which take images as grayscale pixels." My question is why is NASA using a sensor with greyscale pixels? Both CCD and CMOS sensors use color filter arrays [wikipedia.org] to capture color information. There was also the technology Silicon Film [steves-digicams.com] created. Using CMOS tech they created a sensor that could capture the 3 primary colors at each pixel site. Silicon Film closed operations [steves-digicams.com] and went out of business, but I'm surprised someone else didn't buy it's patents and release their own products using them.

Perhaps you know something I don't that makes the Silicon Film tech unusable, but I don't see why NASA couldn't use color filters.

Falcon

Re:Colors in photographs (2, Informative)

Bill of Death (777643) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375013)

Because, when using a color filter array, you throw away 2/3 of your light. Plus it's inflexible.

Re:Colors in photographs (3, Informative)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375015)

The filters you are talking about are affixed to the CCD/CMOS. The filters on Hubble are interchangeable (more similar to lens filters on SLR and similar cameras). The cameras on Hubble have dozens of filters to choose from.

The other benefit is that on a standard 3 color CCD, you end up combining four pixels to create one full color pixel. With Hubble, you get to use all four pixels independently because they all share the same filter.

Re:Colors in photographs (2, Insightful)

retiredtwice (1128097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375085)

The problem is if you put filters as part of the light sensitive array, that would be all they can be used for. The Hubble probably has Red Green and Blue filters as part of its kit as well as a bunch of others that look at specific spectral lines for study. If you combine RGB filtered pictures in the right proportions, you get what we consider to be "natural" color. But it also has narrow band filters for other capabilities like Hydrogen Alpha (in the red band) and Sulfur along with many others. These can be combined to give scientists a visual input as to how the different elements are distributed in the clusters/clouds/etc.

So the Hubble can produce what we interpret as "natural color" but it can also photograph frequencies that we cannot see visually (human vision is pretty limited in spectral range) such as Ultra violet and Infra red.

So by having what we would consider to be "gray scale", with the use of the filters, tremendous amounts of information about the makeup and distribution of objects can be obtained.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375639)

Perhaps you know something I don't that makes the Silicon Film tech unusable, but I don't see why NASA couldn't use color filters.

As has been explained, they could, but they have more important things to do, and the images would not be as useful for science, which was, and remains, the purpose of Hubble. They could have added RGB filters in front of the greyscale sensor (which is basically what you're proposing here), but that would cost launch weight, which means losing other filters, so they went for the more useful ones. The sensors you have linked to are basically a bunch of filters, some built in to the sensor.

Many of these nebulas (for example) would look far less dramatic in the visible range, because all those hot gases wouldn't stand out so well, and they wouldn't be able to discern important details. So in the interests of science AND pretty pictures, they don't bother trying to reproduce a view which humans would see (if they had superman vision) as it'll typically be dusty, dark, and not very interesting. Usually on these pictures you'll see a caption explaining which wavelength(s) they've picked out.

Re:Colors in photographs (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376123)

Filters on space telescopes are normally tuned to gather different emission spectra of certain atoms and molecules, the colour pictures are often combinations that show (say) red for hydrogen, green for oxygen and blue for nitrogen. Sometimes these spectra are visable to a human eye, sometimes there not. Astronomers do not "touch up" the colours but they often select an asthetically pleasing view of the data.

I wanna look through the Hubble! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373991)

Sure the Hubble, being an instrument first and foremost, uses filters and digital photography to analyze structures in space, and see things humans can't see.

But fundamentally the Hubble is still a near-visible light telescope of the reflector type, fundamentally not much different [wikipedia.org] than many common hobbyist scopes [wikipedia.org] . Just bigger, much more precisely made, and in outer fucking space. Oh and with a ton of instruments, filters, etc attached.

What I want is to get those out of the way, attach an eyepiece, and put my ass on a rocket up there so I can take a peek. I know that most things would not look like the NASA-generated images because they have the advantage of being able to do long exposures and see frequencies I can't. Nevertheless, it would still be the most spectacular view you could have with your own eye, which is a huge difference, and would be a completely mind-blowing experience way beyond looking at the processed images.

Of course this wet dream of mine of tourist trips to space telescopes is way more outlandish than my dream of seeing earth from space. That one has a decent chance of happening, especially if I start compromising on "space". :)

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376233)

Very interesting, thanks!

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376257)

That's what's so special about David Malin's [aao.gov.au] photographs. He was an astronomer at the Anglo-Australian Observatory. He developed a raft of techniques to capture the colour of astronomical objects, so the colours in many of his images are true to life.

Re:Colors in photographs (4, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372377)

Red shift and the properties of visible light travelling means that you indeed see "false colour" images, but there are no "real" colours to speak of on the other hand. If you would park your space ship a few million miles then the picture would look entirely different, not just in the colours.

False colour in this case is about visualizing non-visible frequencies of light.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372899)

Not true. Read the article your sibling posted.

Some of the images are real color, or as 'real' color as we get with our digital cameras and things.

Re:Colors in photographs (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373699)

If you would park your space ship a few million miles then the picture would look entirely different, not just in the colours.

I'll qualify this. Most nebula's would be rather dim to the human eye if viewed unaided even if up close. Our eyes are not sensitive enough to detect colors at low light levels, and thus most nebula's, or at least most parts of nebula's would look gray to us. However, if the light was concentrated via a telescope or special lens system, then we could see the colors. Whether these colors match what science-oriented filters of Hubble uses is another matter.

Humans have a crappy color detection arrangment anyhow. Red and green are too close together spectrum-wise, and we cannot see into the near infrared and ultraviolet ranges. Most non-mammalian vertebrates have a better spacing of colors, including having 4 color cones instead of 3. Mammals got a raw deal, probably because existing mammals all evolved from small nocturnal creatures who relied on sound and smell more. In fact, most mammals only have 2 color cones. Primates later evolved a 3rd, probably to identify ripe fruit.
       

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29374489)

What the fuck is with your plurals? You have it right most time's, but other times you don't.

Re:Colors in photographs (-1, Flamebait)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374711)

What the fuck is with your grammar? You have it right half the time, no, actually not even that.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29374851)

That should be "half of the time" not "half the time". Also, learn how and when to use commas.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375241)

He is adding an apostrophe to any word which ends in a vowel before appending the 's' to make it plural. He doesn't insert the apostrophe into plural words that end in consonants in their singular form.

It's weird and wrong, but I've seen that pattern before.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372403)

I was always under the impression that the colors you see are from what ever light spectrum they need to see that object like inferred, and not the actual color that the naked eye would see.

Re:Colors in photographs (3, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372405)

Depends on the image, I think. Many(possibly most or all) are false color. With output from instruments beyond the puny human visual spectrum, you don't even have much of a choice. You take one or more wavelengths and on some mixture of arbitrary and aesthetic grounds, assign them to visible colors, with the intensity of the visible color at a given pixel set by the intensity of the other wavelength for that given pixel.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374727)

You take one or more wavelengths and on some mixture of arbitrary and aesthetic grounds, assign them to visible colors.

Or rather, assign them to visible wavelengths. The colors aren't in the light; the brain is doing the somewhat arbitrary assignment of colors to wavelengths. And the color intensities assigned don't match wavelength intensities, with green being stronger than the corresponding band, for example.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374781)

True, I was pretty sloppy there.

Since I'm here, it's probably worth mentioning that even if you have a visible-light instrument, false color might still be used. There is no particular assurance that a primate visual system, evolved to solve hunter-gathering problems on the savannas of 100,000 years ago, will pick out relevant detail in "true" color; while false color might make it leap out, if the appropriate false colors are used.

Re:Colors in photographs (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372441)

That depends on the image, the camera, and the technology.
If the image isn't true-color, your eyes will see something different. False-color images have non-visible frequencies mapped onto the visible spectrum, and might not be showing anything in the visible spectrum at all. True-color will be pretty close, but read on.
Then there's the camera. Cameras don't reproduce the visible spectrum exactly. Some are more sensitive in the near-infrared, some can show you near-UV. In both cases, the image will tend to be color-shifted/compressed towards blue or red, to various extents.
Then there's exposition, focus, depth of field, optical filters, etc. These generally won't have much of an effect on color, but could make things more or less blurred, produce lens effects, render dim objects visible, etc.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372533)

Oh, and another thing:
Particularly with stars, viewing from up close with the naked eye can produce a different star pattern than viewing with a telescope. A very dim star near the object might be visible with the naked eye, but too dim to make out from Earth, even with a telescope. A really far-away star might be visible with the telescope, but be too dim to make out with the naked eye, even when near the object. Any stars between Earth and the object will not be visible unless you have eyes in the back of your head. Then there's also all the parallax shifts that'll cause just about everything to move around and look different. Keep in mind that some of these objects are light-years across, so if you're sitting a million (or even a hundred million) miles away, you might just end up looking at a greenish haze.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

registrar (1220876) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374697)

The 'camera' being the HST, you can rule out focus, depth of field, and lens effects. It's a reflecting telescope, and everything is at infinity.

Re:Colors in photographs (4, Interesting)

Rothron the Wise (171030) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372459)

Sometimes they are false colors, often they are not. However, a telescope is vastly larger than your eyes. They gather a lot more light, even considering how much the image has been magnified.

I've watched the ring nebula through a 11 inch only to see it in black and white, yet fixed a camera to the very same telescope and gotten color pictures. There simply isn't enough light for my eyes to detect the color. Perhaps with an even larger telescope I could have.

So no, the spectacular nebula might not even be visible to the human eye in your parked space ship, but you certainly could take a long exposure with a very sensitive camera and get awesome colors.

The Orion nebula is large/close enough to be seen without any telescope, but too faint to see without.

Re:Colors in photographs (5, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372521)

There's an example of the Carina Nebula showing both "false colour" and something a closer to the "real colour" you would see from your space ship at The Register [theregister.co.uk] . It's also one of the images from the 56 at the Hubble site linked in the story, but let's try and spread the Slashdotting Love around...

Also, your "few million miles" just might be a little off and in some cases a few million light years or more would be more realistic. :) Some of these dust clouds and so on are *BIG*. If the Tarantula Nebula [wikipedia.org] , for instance, was located as close as the Orion Nebula [wikipedia.org] it would cover about a quarter of the sky.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372953)

Define "real color." If a person with red-green color blindness looks at something, is that person seeing in "false color?" What about tetra-chromats? They see more colors than us "normal" people -- does that mean most of us aren't seeing "real" color?

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29375757)

That question has been answered decades ago by photography and print. We can easily define it in term of photography if you want. "Real color" is the picture you'd get if you'd connect a normal consumer camera to a powerful enough telescope.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29376615)

That question has been answered decades ago by photography and print. We can easily define it in term of photography if you want. "Real color" is the picture you'd get if you'd connect a normal consumer camera to a powerful enough telescope.

So you define "real colour" by the technical properties of current camera technology instead of by the properties of the eye?

Cameras do show funky colours sometimes, for instance when I took a shot of a beautiful deep violet-blue late evening sky with my Ixus i7, it came across as basically #0000FF.

GP:s point of tetra-chromats is also pretty good: if 'ordinary' people have a smaller visible spectrum than them, surely the baseline for 'full-colour' should be defined by what they see?

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

msbmsb (871828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373083)

Those comparative shots of the Carina Nebula are showing the difference between "visible light" and infrared, not colors. The visible light image has false color.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373119)

If the Tarantula Nebula, for instance, was located as close as the Orion Nebula it would cover about a quarter of the sky.

I can't begin to tell you how awesome that would look. It would be terrible for astronomy, of course -- blocking the view -- but still.

Re:Colors in photographs (0)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373141)

Since Mercury is at least 46 million miles from our Sun, I'm pretty sure if your were parked "a few million miles away" from most of these stars, your eyes would be registering extreme pain from the heat, and you would really care about the color. Of course, most of the pictures are composed of millions of stars that are themselves at least thousands of light years apart, so I'm not sure how you would get within "a few million miles" of the subject of the picture.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373217)

The answer is some images are close to true, while others are totally different from what our eyes would see. Every Hubble photograph we see is actually a composite of 3 gray-scale images with different filters attached. In general, they color the image with the highest wavelength filter red, the lowest blue, and the middle green.

This page (http://www.hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/eso.php) gives a pretty good illustration. You can click on several images and see a map from where the three filters exist (on a wavelength axis). Some images, like the Galaxy ESO 510-G13 I linked you to, are close to true color. The image of Saturn (http://www.hubblesite.org/gallery/behind_the_pictures/meaning_of_color/saturn.php) is stretched from a pure infrared to RGB.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

registrar (1220876) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374673)

I asked my professor and they really danced around and didn't give a straight answer (it was a community college).

Oh, the merits of living in a society where the word 'professor' is used for a person who holds a chair at a proper university, and indicates a senior content expert. A title awarded on the basis of academic excellence---I've known two people who were paid at the level of professors but did not receive their chair until the university decided to honour them in that way.

Doesn't stop them dancing around and giving bendy answers, of course, but it helps identify some content experts. Like 'engineer' or 'doctor'.

Re:Colors in photographs (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375153)

Touching up isn't the same as a false-color image. They're not photographs, so they're not really the colors you'd see.

But then, all film and digital cameras put a lot of engineering into producing images so that they look as if you were seeing the object. It's not a natural thing for light-measurement tools to do. As this is a scientific instrument, placing those kind of filters on the cameras up in space would be foolish; it's only a potential source of error.

Colorized, but not embellished (1)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375265)

The other responders explained where the colors come from, but they skipped over the other half of your question...

The images are what you would see if your eyes were sensitive to the same wavelengths as Hubble and your brain mapped those sensations to the same mental colors. They are not embellished for an extra splash of pink here, a different shade of blue there, or clearing out some poorly placed stars for better contrast. They are simply the measured wavelengths mapped to computer-renderable colors.

Would like to see the improvement (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372299)

If anyone finds a link to side-by-side images from the old and new cameras, please post it!

Re:Would like to see the improvement (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372969)

If anyone finds a link to side-by-side images from the old and new cameras, please post it!

I'll give it a shot. (note: on some of these I'm using MAST's archive since the main NASA site seems to be down [stsci.edu] and I am not linking you to full resolution photos as well as seeming to be at different ranges)

Old (2007) Image of NGC 6302 [nasa.gov] compare with new image of NGC 6302 [stsci.edu]
Old (2004 not HST, ground observatory can't find HST image) Image of NGC 6217 [stsci.edu] compare with new image of NGC 6217 [stsci.edu]
Old (2007) Image of Carina Nebula [nasa.gov] compare with new image of Carina Nebula [stsci.edu]
Old (1998 land observatory) [nasa.gov] Images (2000 HST) [nasa.gov] of Stephen's Quintet compare with new image of Stephen's Quintet [stsci.edu]
Old (2008) Omega Centauri [yimg.com] compare with new Omega Centauri [stsci.edu]
Old (2005) Supernova Remnant LMC N132D [nasa.gov] compare with new Supernova Remnant LMC N132D [hubblesite.org]

Hopefully that gives you an idea, most of those old images are Hubble but I threw in some ground based observatory ones so that you can get an idea of what Hubble's been doing for us for 15 years.

Re:Would like to see the improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29373181)

Thank you! The three images of Stephen's Quintet are the best of all the comparisons.

Re:Would like to see the improvement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29373983)

+900 damn fine posting

Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (5, Funny)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372393)

The BBC has a news article up on this story [bbc.co.uk] with a weird quote:

"Most of us humans will never travel to some of the exotic places physically that we see in these images," reflected Nasa's chief scientist, Ed Weiler

Most of us won't?

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372701)

To be fair, Hubble has imaged some of the planets in the solar system including Mars. I guess Ed Weiler is a glass half-full kind of guy and thinks we're actually going to get someone on Mars before the funds get cut and it gets faked at Area 51 again. :)

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (0)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373597)

logically speaking, his statement means that all of us will travel to at least one of the places in those images, which is clearly not true, since while I was writing this post, a "child died in Africa"...

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373813)

That's not what his statement means by any logic. What he said could be misleading since it may imply that there is someone who is going to at least one of those places. By no logic could you deduce what you have deduced.

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372781)

Aliens exist!

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373139)

Clearly, he knows something we don't.

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374159)

"Most of us humans will never travel to some of the exotic places physically that we see in these images," reflected Nasa's chief scientist, Ed Weiler

Most of us won't?

Perhaps they would if they rode in a Firefly.

Falcon

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29375093)

Perhaps they would if they didn't sit around watching television shows that are made for little teenage girls.

Re:Most of us will never travel to those stars.. (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375615)

You should upgrade your spaceship and get a proper Infinity Drive. The voyage is a bit unsettling but the destinations are truly great! I'd truly recommend the further side of the Quentulus Quazgar Mountains.

Comparison with "Old" Images? (2, Interesting)

flghtmstr1 (1038678) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372417)

Has the "upgraded" Hubble taken any images of objects it previously imaged with its old sensors? I would be interested in a comparison.

This is REALLY a US site for US persons (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372429)

Miles per hours, mils, Fahrenheit... Dear NASA, really, how about using USI ? What you are doing is supposed to be science not PR. So how about using the unit all ASTRONOMER use.

Re:This is REALLY a US site for US persons (5, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372499)

What you are doing is supposed to be science not PR.

You think hubblesite.org is about science instead of PR, huh? NASA depends on good PR in order to survive.

Re:This is REALLY a US site for US persons (1)

catdriver (885089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373145)

"No bucks, no Buck Rogers"

Re:This is REALLY a US site for US persons (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373169)

NASA depends on good PR in order to survive.

That's the saddest part of all.

Re:This is REALLY a US site for US persons (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29373381)

It really is, Americans used to be so in to the space race, but now its just "bleh, stars, wuts dat? Like Britny speers?"

And i doubt there really will be any other large space race from now on, nobody cares that much any more.
The only way anyone would care is if you told the oil companies that there was oil on Mars.
Nobody would even care much if they heard there were aliens on Mars who wanted to greet us, they'd just shake it off as "same old same old".
Nothing "amazing" has happened for a while, besides those terror attacks and the tsunami. (and look, most people here would probably wonder what tsunami, nobody cares...)

IRL Armageddon? Still nobody would care, they'd just go to work, get money, go home, fuck, whatever.
Less than 5% would care, there would be no riots.

NASA depends on good PR in order to survive. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374209)

That's the saddest part of all.

NASA wouldn't need good PR if it had a mission like the Apollo mission to land man on the moon, something a lot of people were able to get behind. Perhaps NASA has become oh ump, an everyday thing. No, I think people are more excited about commercial space flight.

As for myself I'd love to go up, and if offered a free seat would, but I am unwilling to spend millions of dollars to go when there are many other things that are more important to me that I think should be done.

Falcon

Re:NASA depends on good PR in order to survive. (1)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375383)

NASA wouldn't need good PR if it had a mission like the Apollo mission to land man on the moon, something a lot of people were able to get behind.

Apollo was not quite as popular as you think. There is no question that it captured people's imagination. For Apollo 11, that is. The rest of the Apollo missions got very little attention. When the last couple of missions were cancelled, there was no public outcry. Within Congress, the amount of money being spent by NASA made it a huge target. Everyone thought there was a better way to spend that money and they were fighting to get that spent in their states/districts. The NASA budgets in the Apollo era were unsustainable and everyone knew it.

Really, spaceflight should be a ho-hum event. That is the goal and that is what was promised but never achieved with the shuttle. At one time, airplanes were amazing and now they are routine. Satellites were amazing and now they are routine (though still expensive). Manned spaceflight will get there one day, but it will be a while. The shuttle is only our 4th generation of manned spacefraft.

Re:This is REALLY a US site for US persons (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29374975)

NASA is American. If you want stuff reported in the ass backward units of measurement used in your little third world country, then put together your own space agency.

Re:This is REALLY a US site for US persons (2, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375463)

Shock and amaze the AMERICAN page for Hubble uses units most familiar to American readers.

If you would prefer you could read its companion page the EUROPEAN page for hubble:

http://www.spacetelescope.org/ [spacetelescope.org]

Gateway timeout! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372431)

thanks guys, posting this and now the hubble site is slashdotted!!! so now nobody gets to see the images until some other story (Britney Spears enrolls into MIT?) vectors the crowd away so us commoners can see hubble pictures.

Re:Gateway timeout! (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372489)

at least the video is still up. I was hoping to nab a few more nice space wallpapers for my rotation though.

Was that video a MBP-fest or what? guess they have a preference ;)

MAST Mirror Site (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372555)

thanks guys, posting this and now the hubble site is slashdotted!!! so now nobody gets to see the images until some other story (Britney Spears enrolls into MIT?) vectors the crowd away so us commoners can see hubble pictures.

I'm seeing the official NASA images just fine but MAST (Multimission Archive at STScI) put up an early mirror here [stsci.edu] if you need the full size images. These are only the press release images, I'm going to keep watching MAST for the full set but you have ftp info for these now here:

ftp archive.stsci.edu
logon as anonymous
cd /pub/sm4earlydata

Archive.org runs a really neat NASA images site [nasaimages.org] that allows you to pick your favorites and make presentations or new montages with them. I'm not seeing the new images up on that yet but they will probably have them up soon.

Re:MAST Mirror Site (2, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372633)

Also NASA's Weekly Top 10 page [nasa.gov] is worth a look. It'll take a week or maybe two for the cream of the latst Hubble pictures to filter to the top though; updates are every Tuesday night or Wednesday morning depending on your timezone.

Zope (1)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372741)

Zope Error

Zope has encountered an error while publishing this resource.

Error Type: URLError
Error Value:

Troubleshooting Suggestions

* The URL may be incorrect.
* The parameters passed to this resource may be incorrect.
* A resource that this resource relies on may be encountering an error.

For more detailed information about the error, please refer to the HTML source for this page.

If the error persists please contact the site maintainer. Thank you for your patience.

Should have used django.

Bittorrents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29372841)

This site is really slow, can somebody make a torrent of all the high-res jpgs?

Imagine... (2, Funny)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372867)

Imagine if a porno company got hold of that camera... It would be *so* easy to get funding!

"First Post Upgrade Images" (4, Funny)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372883)

Wow! Only on Slashdot do we see "First Post" getting upgraded! :)

I suddenly feel... (2, Funny)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 5 years ago | (#29372893)

I suddenly feel very, very small...

I'd like to say images like this put things in perspective for me, but in fact they do the exact opposite.

Re:I suddenly feel... (2, Funny)

Four_One_Nine (997288) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373345)

Can we have your liver then?

Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373229)

I know the early days of Hubble many sciencey people were arguing that Hubble was a waste of resources. Do people still think this? Does anyone remember those days?

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (2, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373429)

I agree with you, but keep in mind that it hasn't been cheap. A lot of liberterian types probably don't like the Hubble's cost.

The Hubble has cost at least 5-7 billion dollars now (http://www.spacetelescope.org/about/faq.html). It has directly led to 4,000+ papers (source: Wikipedia), and a lot of new discoveries. It is hard to quantify the value of the Hubble, but one way of putting it is the mean cost per academic paper is about 1.5 million dollars. Of course this is a terrible way of putting it, because the Hubble produces some awesome images. Also, many of those papers have had a big impact on several academic fields, and are highly cited.

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373517)

I've always wondered why we've spent so much money servicing the darn thing.

Granted, the ability to capture & repair a satellite in orbit is outright remarkable, although the economics of the space shuttle appear to make this an extremely unattractive proposition. Why aren't there several "Hubbles" orbiting above us? Like you've said... the science returns on the investment have been remarkable (arguably the best for any project NASA's ever done)

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (2, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#29374177)

I've always wondered why we've spent so much money servicing the darn thing.

Because we have to learn 'space mechanics' somewhere. Consider this - if we are to move the manned space program along to do any one of a number of impressive sounding things (Moon / Mars / Asteroids) we have to have an ability to do 'routine' repairs. Not everything is going to go according to plan.

As we've found from the Hubble missions and the ISS servicing missions, this is pretty hard and requires enormous planning and training. The only way to make this more routine is to do it more often, do more of it and then repeat the process.

Even if you're correct that it would be cheaper just to make a couple more than fix the stupid things, don't overlook the value in turning wrenches.

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (1)

cetialphav (246516) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375399)

I think the real reason we spend so much on servicing the Hubble is that we just don't have a cheaper operational spacecraft. I think the Shuttle is overkill for this type of mission. It's like taking a tractor-trailer to do your weekly grocery shopping. Something closer in design to the Apollo command module could get an expert to the Hubble to do maintenance much cheaper.

I don't believe we can make spaceflight cheaper and more reliable by relying on the shuttle. We need to take the lessons we have learned and build something new with reliability and cost in mind. That is the only way to really advance our ability.

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376025)

Not sure if NASA's current planned "Something closer in design to the Apollo command module", the Orion module, would be good at servicing the shuttle. The space shuttle has a very effective robot arm, and air lock and changing areas to get space suited. Orion has a minimal docking capability, and doesn't look like its been designed for space walks. I doubt it will be long before space enthusiasts start looking back to the golden days of the shuttle. And clamour for a new winged reusable space craft.

---

Astronomy Feed [feeddistiller.com] @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375677)

It costs around a billion to build a Hubble. It costs around a billion to spend a space shuttle to do maintenance.
Which one would you fund if you were NASA, a programme which has no involvement in your money-grabbing manned space programme or something that makes the monkeys feel worthy?

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (2, Insightful)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376539)

/rant on
A lot of libertarian types' arguments aren't worth listening to. They are mostly half-educated hacks whose entire philosophy is based on one value, "freedom", don't realize that most people have many competing values, and can't appreciate nuance just like most extremists.
/rant off

Hubble's discoveries have had a major impact on the way I view the universe. Its old images are still my screen-saver, I can't wait to update them. If any NASA/astronomer types are reading this, I want to give you a huge heart-felt THANK YOU.

Re:Do people still argue Hubble is a waste? (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375663)

Hubble was a waste of space (hahah, I kill me) until its first upgrade which fixed the optics. Even now, there are earth-bound satellites producing images almost as better as Hubble pictures. For the cost of the Hubble, at least tens, if not hundreds of observatory projects could have been funded, with massive mirrors and technological advances. Hubble became the great scientific work horse it is now after its first round of upgrades and the latest upgrades are truly impressive. On the other hand, it is holding up other advances. Instead of having multiple Hubbles with different optical capabilities (near and far IR for example), each costing around a billion or less, US and Europe spent over 7 billion on this machine. ESA's latest IR telescope [esa.int] is an incredible success so far.

God giving us a hint? (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373583)

Eta Carina is a fascinating object

Indeed! It contains one of my favorite nebula's:

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap030630.html [nasa.gov]

(Older Hubble file photo)
   

Re:God giving us a hint? (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 5 years ago | (#29376119)

Which Eta Carina while you can, it a late stage unstable supergiant and bound to go supernova (maybe hyper-nova) in the next hundred thousand years or so. Lucky its axis isn't pointing at earth, as that might get nasty in the hyper-nova case, where much of the energy gets beams from the poles.

---

Astronomy Feed [feeddistiller.com] @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

fsck twitter (1, Informative)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 5 years ago | (#29373637)

I don't give a flying fsck that NASA tweeted! Just give me the goddam info!

C'mon geeks - do you want to share ranks with Chris Coumo [twitter.com] of Good Morning America [go.com] ?

I am the anti-twitter.

Anyone else... (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 5 years ago | (#29375001)

"Here is a video about the new images at Hubblesite.org [CC] [GC], and a full HubbleSite.org release page with 56 images [CC] [GC]."

Anyone else want to see video of it working? As in what the lens sees as it is being repositioned? I am sure 99% of it is fuz, but after playing with my telescope this weekend I think it would be fun to see what it sees, fuzz and all.

Comparison Photos (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29375087)

Here ya go

http://www.universetoday.com/2009/09/09/just-how-good-is-the-new-hubble-lets-compare/

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