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Cone Nebula (Hubble Legacy Archive Processing)

Cone Nebula

Messing around with the cone nebula and seeing what had already been done with these data I discovered there are some interesting structures which become hidden if you try to cram the near-infrared and H-alpha both into the red channel where they technically belong. I am probably committing some form of processing heresy by representing H-alpha with blue-green but to hell with convention. Please compare it with this image, at HubbleSite.

Reddish orange colors are representing near-infrared data. Greenish blue colors are H-alpha. Blue is a wideband blue filter.

SMOV3b ACS Early Release Observations (HST Proposal 8992)

Red: HST_8992_06_ACS_WFC_F814W_sci
Green: HST_8992_06_ACS_WFC_F658N_sci
Blue: HST_8992_05_ACS_WFC_F435W_sci

North is almost up. It is 4.5° clockwise from up.

NGC 4593 (Hubble Legacy Archive Processing)

NGC 4593

The central bulge of NGC 4593. The two large arms coming in to form a full circle are part of the tremendous bar structure of the overall galaxy. This is the second time the arms do this. If you look at the whole galaxy, there is another full circle with another set of two arms merging to form it. Just to break the pattern, only a single arm reaches the very center, an active galactic nucleus or AGN which is intensely bright compared to the rest of the galaxy. It also looks very blue because blue here is partially represented by UV light and this, being a Seyfert I galaxy, is very bright in UV and x-rays.

Just FYI on the processing: I cloned data to fill in the spot where it was missing from the two HRC images because of the occulting finger. It wasn’t covering any of the major structures but it was very distracting.

I managed to use data from four different proposals for this. That might be a record for me.

Near Ultraviolet Imaging of Seyfert Galaxies: Understanding the Starburst-AGN Connection
Host Galaxies of Reverberation-Mapped AGNs
The Black Hole Mass - Bulge Luminosity Relationship for the Nearest Reverberation-Mapped AGNs

Red: hst_05479_1z_wfpc2_f606w_pc_sci
Green: HST_10516_02_ACS_HRC_F550M_sci
Blue: hst_11661_06_wfc3_uvis_f547m_sci + HST_9379_45_ACS_HRC_F330W_sci

North is NOT up. It is 16.6° clockwise from up.

NGC 3945 (Hubble Legacy Archive Processing)

NGC 3945

Just a cool looking lenticular galaxy. When I was viewing it in the archive it looked like it was shaped something like a TIE fighter but it turns out the ring goes all the way around. This is only the central part Another ring of matter encircles the galaxy further out of the frame. Here is a complete image and interesting accompanying arguments about the actual shape of the galaxy. Can you tell just from looking at it what its three dimensional shape is? Is it a oblique disk, an oblate sphere, or a combination of the two?

Since this is an infrared image, the spiral structures visible in image at the link in the above paragraph are not visible in this image.

Data from proposal ID 11219:
Active Galactic Nuclei in nearby galaxies: a new view of the origin of the radio-loud radio-quiet dichotomy?

All channels: WFC3/IR F160W

North is NOT up. It is 14.6° counter-clockwise from up.

NGC 5408 (Hubble Legacy Archive Processing)

NGC 5408

This is an irregular galaxy once mistaken for a planetary nebula. I managed to combine a couple of infrared filters (more or less grey) from the WFC3 with some H-alpha (orange) data from the WFPC2 for an interesting result. What bothers me here is that I have no idea how to obtain some x-ray data because if I had that then I could point to it and say there’s some kind of black hole accretion disk of some sort going on there, which is creating an ultra-luminous x-ray source (astronomers get to use all the cool words). Looking at the citations for NGC 5408 X-1, it must be a pretty neat thing because it gets cited over and over again.

Conclusion: Astrophysicists love black holes. Who doesn’t, though?

Data from these two proposals were used:
An Irradiated Disk in an Ultraluminous X-Ray Source
The Recent Star Formation History of SINGS Galaxies

Red: WFC3/IR F160W + hst_11987_29_wfpc2_f656n_wf_sci
Green: Pseudo
Blue: WFC3/IR F105W

North is up.

NGC 2419 - Intergalactic Wanderer (Hubble Legacy Archive Processing)

NGC 2419 - Intergalactic Wanderer

NGC 2419 is an unusual globular cluster because it is so far away. It’s out there orbiting the Milky Way beyond the Magellanic Clouds. It’s also a great fit on Hubble’s detectors because of its distance and large size, which is double great because there is a robust set of data in the archive, which made filling the chip gap rather trivial. Its nickname, Intergalactic Wanderer, is somewhat of a misnomer because it is orbiting rather than wandering (read the wiki article) but I think it’s a great name and gives the cluster some character.

Data primarily came from this proposal:
UVIS Photometric Zero Points

Red: hst_11903_41_wfc3_uvis_f814w_sci + hst_11903_41_wfc3_uvis_f775w_sci + hst_11903_41_wfc3_uvis_f625w_sci
Green: hst_11903_41_wfc3_uvis_f555w_sci
Blue: hst_11903_41_wfc3_uvis_f438w_sci

Chip gap filled with:
Red: ACS/WFC f814w (j8io01071_drz) + hst_11035_04_wfpc2_f814w_wf_sci
Green: ACS/WFC f555w (j8io01021_drz) + hst_11035_04_wfpc2_f555w_wf_sci
Blue: ACS/WFC f475w (j8io01031_drz) + hst_11035_04_wfpc2_f439w_wf_sci

North is NOT up. It is 44° counter-clockwise from up.

Moons on a Ring Plane (Cassini Processing)

Moons on a Ring Plane

Titan, Dione, and Epimetheus are easily visible in this 15 panel mosaic, imaged in January 2006. There are a few other tiny pricks of light which may be moons but I don’t know how to identify them.

START_TIME >= 2006-01-05 01:26:39.0
START_TIME <= 2006-01-05 02:17:55.0
Instrument = ISS

Piercing the Veil (Cassini Processing)

Piercing the Veil

Titan again. I used wideband RGB filters and then used a sharpened infrared luminosity overlay to elucidate the surface details which are, of course, normally completely enshrouded by Titan’s atmosphere.

These data were acquired by Cassini on 2013 February 19.

Luminosity overlay: CB3 938N
Red: RED 650W
Green: GRN 568W
Blue: BL1 451W

START_TIME >= 2013-02-19 10:48:12.0
START_TIME <= 2013-02-19 10:52:25.0
Instrument = ISS

Hazy Titan (Cassini Processing)

Hazy Titan

Left side: Titan in natural colors with wideband Red, Green, Blue, and UV filters in their respective channels with Blue and UV sharing the blue channel.

Right side: Using narrowband data to peek through Titan’s haze. Red is infrared and green and blue are two methane bands (MT1 and MT2, respectively). I also applied the infrared data as luminosity to further enhance the visibility of Titan’s surface features.

Compositional inspiration for side-by-side views came from Val Klavans’s wonderful work.

These data were acquired by Cassini on 2013 January 05.

Red: RED 650W
Green: GRN 568W
Blue: BL1 451W + UV3 338W

Red: CB3 938N
Green: MT2 727N
Blue: MT1 619N

START_TIME >= 2013-01-05 04:17:54.0
START_TIME <= 2013-01-05 04:27:28.0
Instrument = ISS

Tenuous Rings (Cassini Processing)

Tenuous Rings

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.

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

Saturn (Cassini Processing)


I was rummaging through the Cassini archive because I was wondering what filters were used for today’s APOD. The PDS (Planetary Data System) is a powerful tool but is also cumbersome and I am inexperienced with it so I ended up giving up the search after a bit and decided to process an image myself. I can’t say I know exactly what I’m doing but it sure is pretty. Then again, it’s hard not to capture a beautiful image of Saturn. It’s just out there being awesome no matter how you look at it. I especially enjoy the way blue light is scattered along the limb of the planet.

Red, Green, Blue, and Violet filters were used to create a somewhat natural color image and then a polarized (90°) IR filter was used to exaggerate the clouds which is why the rings also appear somewhat red.

These data were collected in May 2005.

START_TIME >= 2005-05-04 23:00:13.0
START_TIME <= 2005-05-04 23:13:27.0
Instrument = ISS

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