Latest Work

Hello, I am trying something new with my website. I mostly tend to my Flickr gallery at this point, so to reduce the upkeep and redundancy, I am using the Flickr API to pull my latest images straight from my gallery over there. Clicking on any image will simply take you to its page within my Flickr gallery (external link).

A categorical listing of work, separated into albums, is located here (external link).


The Crepuscular Rays of IC 5063

The Crepuscular Rays of IC 5063

Revisiting our old friend IC 5063, this time with a bit of color, clearly revealing the emission line features emerging nearly perpendicular from the crepuscular rays. These features, in cyan, are most easily viewed zoomed in on the nucleus. They are thought to be formed by the actively accreting supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. In this case, the black hole may have a dark "donut" of dust around its equatorial axis, and the extremely bright light creates ionizing cones and jets of material out of the polar axis.

The processing here is not only extreme, but also a combination of data from two separate HST snapshot proposals, and the wondrous Legacy Survey DR9 release. I used my hacky Photoshop subtraction model to clearly reveal the center of the galaxy in the Hubble data, while the outer parts are partially filled using the LS DR9 imagery, more smoothly and confidently illustrating the galaxy’s outer tidal structures.

Hubble image coverage is incomplete; some sections contain only one filter/color.

Attribution: NASA / ESA / Aaron Barth / Julianne Dalcanton / DECaM Legacy Survey / Judy Schmidt

Data from the following proposals comprise this image:
An ACS Schedule Gap Imaging Survey of Nearby Active Galaxies
Establishing HST’s Low Redshift Archive of Interacting Systems

Hubble data:
Red: ACS/WFC F814W
Green: Pseudo
Blue: ACS/WFC F606W

Legacy Survey data:
Red: DECam z (near-infrared)
Green: DECam r (visible red)
Blue: DECam g (visible green)

The pixel scale for the original size PNG image is 0.03962" per pixel.

North is 3.29° clockwise from up.


AG Carinae

AG Carinae

Don’t have a lot of free time lately, but this year’s anniversary image seemed so nice and simple I decided to process my own version of it during some much needed breaks between tending to the baby’s needs. I went with a kind of fiery scheme for the narrowband data, and leaned toward blue for the medium/wideband data. You gotta figure with the central star being a blue supergiant that reflection nebula should be a little blue due to reflected starlight. Anyway, here’s a link to the Hubblesite press release, where there’s a lot of extra information as well as a kind of 3D tilting animation:
hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2021/news-2021-017

Red/orange screen: WFC3/UVIS F657N
Red: WFC3/UVIS F845M
Green: WFC3/UVIS F547M
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F275W

North is up.


Mrk 78

Mrk 78

The active nucleus and some glowing outflows associated with it in the galaxy Markarian 78. I worked together with Dr. Mitchell Revalski on this one. Together I feel like we were able to pick the right datasets to really eke out as much detail as possible for the ionized (glowing) outflows, which are shown in blue. There were some old FOC data in the archive that I myself was too skeptical to try using, but after some encouragement from Mitch it turned out it was actually the best. Other noticeable features include dark dust, shown here in dark brown and orange colors.

Anyway, this may seem like a meager offering compared to other imagery from Hubble, but it’s safe to say it’s currently the best image (as of this writing) of Mrk 78’s nucleus.

An arXiv link to the paper on this object is here!
arxiv.org/abs/2101.06270

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image. Two proposals from the late 90’s and one from 2019. Glad the archive is so well maintained that it is possible to easily combine chronologically disparate datasets.
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

This ended up being a two color orange/cyan image, and the cyan channel is a bit unusual, comprised of data combined from the STIS/CCD 50CCD filter and FOC/96 F502M filter. Neither dataset provided full coverage, so each image makes up for what is missing in the other, and what features showed up in both were similar enough to create a smooth and coherent image despite being from totally different instruments and not quite similar filters.

Orange: ACS/WFC F814W
Cyan: STIS/CCD 50CCD + FOC/96 F502M

North is up.


Arp 288

Arp 288

Just a cool spiral galaxy with some intense tidal disruption going on.

Data from the following proposal is used to create this image:
Establishing HST’s Low Redshift Archive of Interacting Systems

All channels: ACS/WFC F606W

North is 32.0° clockwise from up.


SDSS-1237659936978568047

SDSS-1237659936978568047

A tiny Zoo Gem which turned out to be an incredibly dramatic galaxy. Unfortunately it’s still very small even when Hubble views it, and the best color imagery I know of is from SDSS DR9, so I took some artistic license to it and colored it how I think it might be, based on my experience from looking at these things. Make no mistake—the color here, though based on the SDSS imagery, is almost certainly not correct. It should be within the ballpark, though.

I removed a few cosmic rays, and while doing so, I thought man, there are a lot of faint field stars in the foreground, like a nearby galaxy is in front of it. Took a look at the sky map and sure enough it’s behind the halo of Andromeda, so most of those faint foreground stars are Andromedan.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
Gems of the Galaxy Zoos

Color: Fake, based on SDSS DR9 imagery
All channels: ACS/WFC F606W

North is 11.53° counter-clockwise from up.


Northern NGC 205

Northern NGC 205

Also known as M110, this is a close-up view of Andromeda’s famous dwarf elliptical satellite. This patch was imaged several times over in a search for variable stars, RR Lyrae in particular, in order to study the distances to these stars. Looking more at the proposal abstract for these observations, one realizes how slow science can be sometimes. In order to view the proper motions of stars within this galaxy, further observations will have to be taken 8-12 years from now, with perhaps even more in the future. Will Hubble survive that long? Will future telescopes be launched to pick up where Hubble left off? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Some processing notes:
The chip gap was filled with cloned data to make it unobtrusive. It’s not perfectly done, nor was it intended to be a perfect match. You should be able to tell there is a very faintly darker band horizontal across the image about halfway down—where the gap was. Some charge bleeds were also covered with cloned data. Given the nature of studying variable stars, these are some of my favorite data to process because it is very easy to eliminate all of the cosmic rays from the image using a median stack method. So everything you see here is a real star or galaxy, and not an artifact. The noise level is also exceptionally low.

Data from the following ambitious proposal were used to create this image:
https://archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=15902

Red: ACS/WFC F814W
Green: Pseudo
Blue: ACS/WFC F606W

North is 26.1° counter-clockwise from up.


NGC 1317

NGC 1317

Also catalogued (accidentally?) as NGC 1318, NGC 1317 is a barred spiral galaxy with a wreath of bright star formation around its nucleus. These Hubble observations are not especially deep, but are still adequate to make out some of the fainter outer arms of the spiral. A much deeper view is available from ESO, also showing its line-of-sight companion NGC 1316. It’s possible that the two are interacting, but also possible that they are too far away from one another, since NGC 1317 appears unperturbed, even while NGC 1316 has clearly interacted recently, given its obvious and multiple tidal tails.

Data from the illustrious PHANGS-HST program were used to create this image.
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

More on PHANGS here:
phangs.stsci.edu/

Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W+F336W+F275W

North is 68.0° clockwise from up.


NGC 4548

NGC 4548

For your Friday, a beautiful barred spiral galaxy flecked with blue dots and splotches of star formation, along with plenty of dust floating about. About half or so of the galaxy is contained within the frame. The rest didn’t fit, unfortunately.

Data from the illustrious PHANGS-HST program were used to create this image.
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

More on PHANGS here:
phangs.stsci.edu/


Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W+F336W+F275W

North is 12.4° counter-clockwise from up.


NGC 4571

NGC 4571

For your enjoyment. A low-surface brightness spiral galaxy with many bright blue clusters of star formation in its arms. Despite its dimness, or perhaps because of it, the young star clusters are very apparent in this galaxy.

Data from the illustrious PHANGS-HST program were used to create this image.
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

More on PHANGS here:
phangs.stsci.edu/


Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W+F336W+F275W

North is 19° counter-clockwise from up.


NGC 4298

NGC 4298

Flocculent spiral galaxy NGC 4298 as seen with the Hubble Space Telescope. It is in an apparent interacting pair with NGC 4302.

This has been processed almost identically to my version of NGC 4254: flic.kr/p/2k2ZeEa

Care was taken with the bright foreground star to rotate the diffraction spikes in just the F555W data so that they all matched. Some filter ghosts were also removed to help beautify the lone star.

I can’t tell whether the front of the galaxy is at the top of the image or the bottom. I might be displaying it upside-down, if you know what I mean, not that there is an up or a down in space.

Data from the illustrious PHANGS-HST program were used to create this image.
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

Data from the anniversary program for Hubble’s 27th birthday also comprise the F555W portions of this image.
WFC3 imaging of galaxy pair NGC 4298 and NGC 4302

More on PHANGS here:
phangs.stsci.edu/


Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W+F336W+F275W

North is 36.3° clockwise from up.


There are more pictures at my Flickr Gallery (external link)