Are the Colors Real?

The most common question we get asked about Hubble images is, "are the colors real?" What folks usually mean is, are these what the images would look like if we could travel in the Starship Enterprise to these cosmic landscapes? Or maybe more practically, if we could look through the Hubble Space Telescope. That would... Continue Reading →

Hubble Heritage

In 1998, a few years after the launch and the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, a number of astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute established the Hubble Heritage project. The main goal, among others, was to promote the visual qualities of Hubble images balanced with their science content. Over the years since, Heritage... Continue Reading →

The Kaleidoscopic Crab

This image of the Crab Nebula from a recent Hubble press release packs a lot of information into a single picture. Five different wavelengths spanning nearly the entire breadth of the electromagnetic spectrum are present here. In this post, I'll deconstruct the image and look at how it was put together... but first, a little history... Continue Reading →

Welcome to the Illuminated Universe

Illuminated Universe is a blog from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) dedicated broadly to discussing visualization in astronomy but also focused on providing some background to images and videos. STScI is responsible for the science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. Part of our mission is to inform... Continue Reading →

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