Hubble’s Hidden Treasures
Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last 20 years (or on another planet) you’ve seen a plethora of beautiful images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Many of Hubble’s images are some of the most iconic and awe-inspiring pictures of all time. Since 1990, Hubble has been constantly observing the visible universe collecting scientific data for astronomers that has been used to determine the origin of our universe and further explore the vastness of the cosmos. Hubble’s archive, however, is massive and many thousands of images have never been seen by anyone, save only a few scientists. For a while now the scientists at the European Space Agency have been processing the data from the Hubble vault and producing mind-blowingly beautiful pictures of the data and releasing them as the Hubble Picture of the Week. But the vault is just too large and there are thousands of hidden treasures still inside Hubble’s vault waiting to be unearthed.
The folks over at Spacetelescope.org have created a contest called Hubble’s Hidden Treasures to help plumb the depths of riches of the archive of the world’s most well known telescope. Between now and May 31st you can access the Hubble Legacy Archive website to search for images that Hubble has captured. The browser-based image processing tools allow you to then adjust the basic properties of the image such as contrast, zoom, color balance, and more to turn the image into a spectacular photograph. Prizes will be given away for the top images once the contest is over.
For those who own professional-grade image processing software there’s a contest for you too! You can enter Hubble’s Hidden Treasures 2012 Image Processing Contest. It works the same way as the normal contest but you can download the data from the Hubble Legacy Archive to your computer and use your favorite image processing software to create truly stunning photos. For more information on both of these contests go to www.spacetelescope.org and happy imagulating!