Ever wonder how in the world the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) takes those awesomely fascinating photos of galaxies, stars, planets, nubulaes, and supernova remnants more that are a gazillion light years away from us?
Here's The Process: Scientists point the HST to a particular region of space. The HST exposes an image for a long time to collect more light rather than zooming in on them. It collects as many photons as possible on optical sensors which relays the data to computers here on earth which recombines the data into pictures.
The HST takes pictures using the full spectrum of light from infrared to ultraviolet that the human eye cannot see. It even uses X-rays. It uses lenses that either captures or filters different wavelengths. It sees or filters out different colors such as red, blue, and green . This tells us what we are looking at, such as hydrogen atoms, oxygen atoms, and nitrogen ions.
Example:Hydrogen emits red light. If the HST did not do filter out the color red, most pictures would be kind of reddish as hydrogen is by far the most abundant element in the universe. Hence, astronomers can tell by color just what the heck they are looking at. By combining these images scientists can create full-color pictures.
And the images are enhanced too. There is nothing wrong with doing this.
|The Sombrero Galaxy|