Processing Images – NGC 6523 and M8 (Part 1 of 2)

In the dark regions of space just outside our atmosphere, the Hubble telescope fires it’s thrusters and begins to move slowly….. tracking towards an object that it has targeted. After several minutes, the Hubble stops, having located it’s intended target. One of the Hubble’s cameras focus in on the distant object, firing off a series of images using various filters. Once complete, the telescope transmits the images down to Earth and then maneuvers itself towards a secondary target.

Back on Earth, a select few individuals were responsible for processing those images. Their task was to combine those images together to come up with the final full color images that would be seen in magazines and on the internet around the world.

But now this is no longer a task left to those few individuals. Now the data they use from the Hubble is available for teacher and students and anyone in the public who want to work with the different exposures of a chosen astronomical object and make the tough decisions that are required which will determine what the final image will look like.

Sydney Star Gazers will now be spending a lot more time on processing images from the Hubble and these images will be posted here in the blog.

With our section Sydney Universe Watch now being updated again as from July 1st, Sydney Star Gazers will try and process on a daily basis images taken from the vast Hubble archives.

And today we will start with processing images taken of NGC 6523 and M8.

Below are the exposures taken by the Hubble of NGC 6523 and M8 on the 9th of April 2009.

From left to right the exposures were taken using the filters  F814W (red) on the left, F675W (Green) in the middle and F656N (Blue) on the right.

These will be used for image processing to come up with the final image which will be shown in the second part of this post.

NGC 6523 M8 exposures (Click to Enlarge)

TARGNAME= ‘NGC6530-M8                    ‘ / proposer’s target name
RA_TARG =   2.709216979167E+02 / right ascension of the target (deg) (J2000)
DEC_TARG=  -2.437852777778E+01 / declination of the target (deg) (J2000)
DATE-OBS= ‘2009-04-09’         / UT date of start of observation (yyyy-mm-dd)
TIME-OBS= ’21:25:12′           / UT time of start of observation (hh:mm:ss)
EXPSTART=   5.493089250686E+04 / exposure start time (Modified Julian Date)
EXPEND  =   5.493089482167E+04 / exposure end time (Modified Julian Date)
EXPTIME =   2.000000000000E+02 / exposure duration (seconds)–calculated

~ by sydneystargazers on July 1, 2010.

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