Now we all know how Photoshop revolutionized the graphic designers’ world. Adobe, in its official blog post, discussed how the scientists at NASA put up the images sent by their rovers and space telescopes like Hubble to an advanced image-editing procedure and bring out the spectacle for the world to see.
See this image of our closest neighbour Andromeda galaxy, a 1.5 billion-pixel image which was taken by the Hubble telescope, edited by scientists and then released for public display.
Astronomers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA have some serious image editing skills as they remove multiple seams while stitching the series of photographs sent from the space rovers. Robert Hurt is one of the renowned astronomer and an artist at the Caltech Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. He feels like he has the scientific responsibility to the public and astronomers alike to show them the image with most information and relevance.
Photoshop is specifically used by NASA to further enhance the aesthetics of the image. Space is a dream for most of us and NASA through its pitch perfect images intends to make it look like one.
Hurt’s main aim while photoshopping is to make people see what is literally unseeable. He explains his visual translation process as he starts from the raw grayscale data from parts of IR spectrum and edits those images to create a set of colored pictures that represent the celestial objects, that human eye cannot see in the infrared spectrum.
Like the image shown below, the final released image of the Sombrero Galaxy, M104 (right) was the result of layering the effects from two images, i.e. NASA’s Spitzer (left) and Hubble Space Telescopes (middle).
Now, it is not that NASA is making us see some false images, it is just that the viewer should see the clean and better lit images of the Universe. However, for people who want to see true space, NASA also releases the original untouched photographs taken by its voyagers.