Sunday Stock: Hubble Images of Space

June 7, 2009

I recently had a very interesting day and evening focused on space exploration. One of the CorelDRAW users on our CorelDRAW Unleashed Boot Camp Cruise this past January worked for NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatory) on the University of Arizona campus. After a brief tour of his office and a private tour by an optical engineering professor, I got a tour of the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The Mirror Lab makes telescope mirrors as large as 8.4 meters (that’s 27.6 feet) in diameter. Not only are they huge, they must be made in a perfect parabolic shape and smoothed to very detailed precision. The whole process was fascinating.

Later than evening I took part in the Nightly Observing Program at the Kitt Peak Visitor Center. Two guides gave the group a tour of the sky with the naked eye, through binoculars and through one of the many telescopes on Kitt Peak. If you are ever in the Tucson, Arizona area, I highly recommend it. The guides were fantastic and the sights were even better!

Once I got back, I wanted to get some good pictures of space and one of the best places to look is at HubbleSite. The site is all about the Hubble Space Telescope and features a large gallery of images taken by Hubble. Numerous images are available for free download, including very high resolution images. The largest I found was 16,000 x 8,000 pixels. That’s 128 megapixels!

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