This image would be cool enough if it were some kind of artistic fabrication, but the fact that it’s a real photograph is nothing short of amazing. Capturing more than one brand of nocturnal illumination, photographer Phil Hart snapped this image (and a gallery of other pics) at Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia, displaying both the cosmic light above the water and the bioluminescent algae below.
This is an image of the Space Shuttle Discovery taken from the ground, no easy feat in itself. But it wasn't taken by an observatory or a massive scientific instrument. Rob Bullen snapped this image from the UK using an 8.5" telescope. That he was guiding by hand.
The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has announced the winners of its Hidden Treasures astrophotography contest. Hidden Treasures asks amateur astronomers with an artistic bent (or artists with an astronomic bent) to take the raw, greyscale data from ESO's archives and do what ESO hires a team of professionals to do: Translate that data into gorgeous images of the universe. We've compiled a gallery of a few of our favorites, and trust us, these are as good as any professional efforts we've seen.
If you're going to photograph the cosmos, the first step is to find somewhere really dark where Earthly light pollution won't spoil your shot. Following this line of thought to its logical limits, astrophotographer Stéphane Guisard went in search of the darkest possible sky he could find here on Earth, and found it at just the right time and place in Chile's Atacama Desert. The results are these breathtaking shots that on first glance may look noisy and polluted -- until you take a good close-up look at what's really there.
First they gave us a high-res tour of Mars -- now Microsoft has made the largest and clearest night-sky map ever. It's a terapixel image: 1,000 000,000,000 pixels.
The software giant's Terapixel project stitched together 1,791 pairs of red-light and blue-light plates from telescopes in California and Australia. The result is the map above, which covers the night sky of the northern and southern hemispheres.
Amateur and professional astronomers alike know the Orion Nebula as one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky, and a new image from Europe's powerful VISTA telescope has captured it in a stunning new light. But rather than just seeing the visible cloud of gas enshrouding the stellar nursery, VISTA turned its infrared vision upon the young stars emerging in and around the nebula.
By Eric AdamsPosted 11.02.2009 at 4:10 pm 8 Comments
My first attempt at Jupiter [left] demonstrates why it's a tricky first target--the brightness of the planet against the darkness of space casts a wide dynamic range for the novice to capture. But it's possible, as a photo taken with the same camera provided by the SBIG folks shows [right].
Astrophotography is hard. Astronomically hard. Everything has to be perfect. Your telescope, with camera attached, must track your target in precise synchronization with the rotation of the Earth. It can't shake. It can't even vibrate. You have to nail your camera's exposure settings or you'll be rewarded with an incoherent mess. Your targets are often so dim you can't even see them until after the image has been made, so focusing is a nightmare.
So why try? Because it makes the entities floating in the vastness of the universe much more real than any Hubble wallpaper on your computer desktop can.
Taken with a Nikon D3, 1,200 images and over 120 hours of collective exposure time went into this composite panorama of the Milky Way, as seen from Earth.
The universe may be too big too big to wrap one’s mind around, but the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere has succeeded in distilling the entire Milky Way Galaxy into one breathtaking cosmic image. ESO’s Gigagalaxy Zoom project has released a stunning 360-degree panorama of the cosmos surrounding earth as seen with the unaided eye from one of the darkest places on earth.
The biggest airliner ever built takes flight
When the first Airbus A380 made its maiden flight from Toulouse, France, on April 27, it launched a new age in long-distance air travel. The top-shelf airlines first in line to purchase it-Singapore, Emirates, Virgin-will use the enormous jet's roomy two-story cabin to pamper around 118 business- and first-class travelers while packing as many as 437 passengers in coach to hold down fares.