|From Cosmos to Canvas: Tensions between Art and Science in Astronomy Images.|
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 would like to promote content produced
by astronomers - professional and amateurs. Bold colour images from
telescopes act as extraordinary ambassadors for astronomers because
they pique the public's curiosity. Unfortunately attempts by
scientists to represent their discoveries can tend to all but drown
out the conventions of visual literacy. This can dilute the impact
of an image. The material in this section is to help you render your astronomy
images in the most effective manner possible. The videos will
help you learn how to make outstanding, striking electronic
images to support your science stories in accurate, compelling
|How to Make Astronomy Images|
- Calibrate your monitor.
- Make your images.
Canvas - playlist of videos on YouTube - is an imaging workshop in 5 parts on how to make compelling
astronomy images using astronomy data in any wavelength regime. Emphasis is put
on keeping the scientific content in an image while simultaneously constructing
it to appeal to the public using concepts and techniques from visual art. Part
1 covers the motivations, definitions of public outreach images, composition
and colour "theory". Parts 2-4 show the workshop in action, with more tips and
tricks and how-to's. Part 5 shows the results of the workshop participants,
including a critique of their images. This movie was made by the Astronomy
group at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and is a contribution to the
International Year of Astronomy 2009.
- Examples of Images Made During Workshops
Most of these are made from small "thumbnail" black and white images so that
they could be made quickly.
|Original Astronomical Data:|
|Software Requirements for Creating Colour Images:
- An image processing package for making black and white versions
of your data.
The best is KVIS in the Karma suite, but DS9 in the IRAF suite can
also be used. If you do not want to learn either of these astronomy
packages, then you can use FITS
Liberator, a plug-in for PhotoShop. In both FITS
files are input. Particularly fine adjustments can be made in Karma
and ppm or postscript outputs can be loaded into image manipulation
packages (listed in next item).
- An image manipulation package.
If you do not have an image manipulation package on your computer
e.g. PhotoShop), the Gnu Image Manipulation Package - GIMP - is free, easy to install, and
works on Linux, Microsoft, and Apple platforms. (But yes you can use PhotoShop
if you have it. You may like to try out an evaluation version from the adobe
| Selected Reference Articles|
|Astronomy Image Websites||
Dr. Jayanne English
of Physics and Astronomy
University of Manitoba
Canada R3T 2N2
Physics & Astronomy Office: (204)-474-9817