Last Spring, I took my Astronomy Club to the University of Arizona and to the Vatican Observatory which has a telescope in Tucson. We also participated in an astrophotography project that is explained in the Vatican Newsletter that I have attached. They have not published it online yet, so I hope the image will suffice for now. I have posted two of the pictures that we took with the use of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope on Mount Graham.
The Horse Head nebula image is a bit of astro-trickery! The club had gone to see a presentation at Central Connecticut State University the day before we processed this image. The talk at the planetarium focused on Einstein’s theories of relativity, and considered what would would happen to our conception of space and time if we could travel at “warp speed”. We actually processed the Horse Head nebula image in such a way that we brought the background stars forward and in line with the nebula. In doing that we manipulated where they were in space and also in time. This image is what it would look like if you could freeze time as you were flying your space craft through the Horse Head nebula at “warp speed”. Isn’t art fantastic?!
We plan to return to Arizona in 2017. The focus of that trip will be geology, astrobiology, and robotics.
Thank you to Paul Baldassini for all his help with the image processing. His expertise in imaging made all the processing possible. You can check out his website here.
Thank you to the Vatican Observatory for all their assistance and the opportunity to do this work.
Top Photo: N23 Super nova remnant