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).


NGC 1275 HST+CXO

NGC 1275 HST+CXO

This took longer than I expected. Chandra’s observations of this area of the sky are numerous, and combining them turned out to be complex. I admit I found myself losing patience with it, especially since this view is not exactly something unseen before. You may have seen it before, though that image also contains radio data. I’d love to also include radio data, but that’s some of the hardest data to process, and I can’t see myself doing it… ever, really.

Definitely check out the numerous articles on the Perseus Cluster if you’d like to learn more about how this crazy black hole in the center of this galaxy is doing things on a ridiculously epic scale in spacetime.
chandra.si.edu/search_results.html?cx=0033617573934318283…

Chandra processing information only:
Data from a multitude of observations were combined to create the x-ray image, shown here as a blue screen over the Hubble data.

Hubble processing information only:
Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
The filaments of NGC1275

A luminosity layer was created by using pseudogreen in the green channel instead of F550M. Helps make the tendrils much more visible.

Red: ACS/WFC F625W
Green: ACS/WFC F550M
Blue: ACS/WFC F435W

North is up.


NGC 1275

NGC 1275

Meet the Perseus Cluster’s giant, overbearing resident galaxy. It’s possibly the weirdest-looking elliptical I’ve ever seen because it hosts these very unusual tendrils of glowing pink and blue gas (the blue parts may be part of the foreground galaxy). They are supposedly maintained by a weak magnetic field that somehow both prevents them from dissipating or collapsing into new stars. To further complicate matters, there is a foreground galaxy rapidly falling toward NGC 1275, visible as a disorganized smear of dark dust accompanied by some young and newly forming blue stars.

I honestly don’t know what to make of this galaxy. It’s always looked bizarre to me, and I am no closer to coming to any understanding of it now that I’ve made my own version of it. I’m not totally convinced even the pros understand it very well… which is not a bad thing. Even the Universe needs to keep some secrets.

This has long been one of my favorites from Hubble. You may recall seeing it before like this:
hubblesite.org/contents/media/images/2008/28/2375-Image.h…

Felt that image was a bit heavy on the red side, so I wanted to try for a more balanced coloration. Hope you like it.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
The filaments of NGC1275

A luminosity layer was created by using pseudogreen in the green channel instead of F550M. Helps make the tendrils much more visible.

Red: ACS/WFC F625W
Green: ACS/WFC F550M
Blue: ACS/WFC F435W

North is up.


SN 2016ADJ light echo

SN 2016ADJ light echo

A supernova explosion that happened in Centaurus A. This animation represents about 1.5 years of time, omitting the first frame which is a legacy image from 2010. This all happened a bit more than one month after the initial explosion. What you see here is the fading of the supernova, and then the blueish ring that is a light echo that began to propagate outwards immediately after the initial explosion. Upon closer inspection, a second, fainter light echo seems to appear following the first in the last two frames.

Some processing notes: The telescope never oriented the same way twice when taking observations, resulting in diffraction spikes and the whole PSF of the foreground star being incredibly distracting. I stabilized this quite a bit by both using a stacked median version of the datasets to remove the spikes completely, and then added the 2010 spikes back on to all the frames. Red channel data were missing from the 3rd and 4th frames (second and third brightest images of the fading supernova) so color for that is both guessed and pulled from the 2010 data. I did use a fair amount of clarity and texture filtering from Camera Raw.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
Star Formation in Nearby Galaxies
Light Echoes and the Progenitor of SN 2016adj in Cen A
Light Echoes and the Environments of SNe 2014J and 2016adj

Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F547M
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W

North is up.


PN A66 30 (Abell 30)

PN A66 30 (Abell 30)

Another "born again" planetary nebula from the same proposal as yesterday’s. Same color treatment is given to it. This one is fainter, though, and required a bit more processing just try to eke out some of the details. It’s not the best image, but I didn’t want to separate it from its friend.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
Witnessing the Expansion of Hydrogen-Poor Ejecta in Born-Again Planetary Nebulae

All channels: WFC3/UVIS F502N

North is 29.69° counter-clockwise from up.


PN A66 78 (Abell 78)

PN A66 78 (Abell 78)

Not one of HST’s favored children, this planetary nebula is not available in enough filters to create a color image. I went ahead and gave it a fictitious color palette, and although the color is fake, it is not entirely unrealistic. The nebula emits strongly in [O III], giving it a greenish cyan coloration. The central stars of planetary nebulas tend to be blue, while other stars are comparatively yellow or red.

Many of the details are rather faint, especially the hazy outer shell, but I think it is a very beautiful object. Most planetary nebulas are. This one is said to be "born again" as it experienced some kind of secondary event after its initial formation, leading to some extra ejected material.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
Witnessing the Expansion of Hydrogen-Poor Ejecta in Born-Again Planetary Nebulae

All channels: WFC3/UVIS F502N

North is 64.36° counter-clockwise from up.


Crab Sans Pulsar

Crab Sans Pulsar

A pretty cool public lecture from STScI’s Frank Summers is over on Youtube. Explains all these weird shapes far better than I can: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2Fte8xkTpo

The famous Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant that contains a pulsar with a bright wind nebula intermixed among remnant filaments. Here, I’ve removed the wind nebula completely, along with the stars and the pulsar itself, leaving only the strange tendrils of leftover from when the star exploded many hundreds of years ago. Apparently the pulsar, not the initial supernova explosion, is responsible for the much of the intricate shaping of the filaments.

Oddly enough the nebula does look a bit fake to me with all the stars removed. Some of the fakeness is also due to the way I covered the awkward edges where the data ended due to the footprint of the WFPC2 detector. Hopefully it doesn’t look too bad, though.

Speaking of WFPC2, can you believe Hubble still hasn’t looked at this nebula in color since the observations comprising this mosaic were made around 20 years ago? The center has been looked at it relatively recently in polarized light, a mediumband and wideband green filter, and once in near-infrared but never again in enough filters to produce a color image of the whole nebula. You might think that the Crab Nebula is very popular and looked at quite frequently, but that’s not the case.

I do think this version shows off the three emission lines better than I’ve done previously. Blueish hues denote doubly ionized oxygen, reddish colors are singly ionized silicon, and the yellowish areas are where neutral oxygen is present. Some older versions I made can be seen here and here.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
An Emission Line Survey of the Crab Nebula

F547M filter was used for subtraction. Subtraction function was not linear or the same for each channel.

Orange: WFPC2 F673N [S II] - F547M
Green: WFPC2 F631N [O I] - F547M
Cyan: WFPC2 F502N [O III] - F547M

North is up.


Mystic Pillar

Mystic Pillar

Long have I gazed upon and admired one of the greatest images Hubble has ever taken. It’s impossible not to pause and take it all in, even after all these years and all the times I’ve seen it. Ten years ago this was observed for Hubble’s 20th anniversary. We’re now approaching the telescope’s 30th anniversary, which is guaranteed to be spectacular.  Please do look at the original anniversary release to understand the history of this image: hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2010/news-2010-13.html

One of the ways I learn to appreciate HST imagery even further is by processing it myself. There’s nothing quite like staring at every little detail up close and personal to feel intimately acquainted with some data. I went into this thinking there wouldn’t be much different that I could do that others haven’t already done… and I was wrong, which was nice.

I learned something new recently that involves subtracting light out of imagery to reveal details that are otherwise lost in a kind of bright glare. It works very well with elliptical galaxies that are very regular in shape and easy to create simple, smooth models of. The idea was still fresh on my mind when I realized that the [O III] data seemed to match up with a bright gaseous fog permeating the landscape around the Mystic Mountain. I tried applying the same technique, and to my great surprise, it worked, and really well at that. The Mountain was deeply revealed in such a way that it became more of a Pillar. Yes, it was always a pillar, but it was hard to see.

There are a few places where subtraction was obviously imperfect (at least, obvious if you flip back and forth between the two) but it doesn’t detract from the overall view. I also had to mask off the PSFs (point spread functions) of the stars since subtracting them out doesn’t do any good.

Anyway, hope you enjoy it. As always, it’s a privilege to get to work with these amazing data.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
20th Anniversary of HST Launch

Note that mosaics are already composed and ready for anyone to download and try for themselves: archive.stsci.edu/prepds/carina/wfc3/

One more note: Subtraction was not linear and applied with varying weight to each filter. It’s part science, yeah, but it’s also art. This means eyeballing it and adjusting it until it looks "right" to me.

Lavender screen: WFC3/UVIS F502N (I used this to put some of the subtle color variation back into the image after subtraction)
Red: WFC3/UVIS F673N-F502N
Green: Pseudo
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F657N-F502N

North is down.


NGC 2835

NGC 2835

A pretty spiral with lots of star formation going on. The blue areas show where near-ultraviolet light is more strongly emitted, indicating recent or ongoing star formation.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
PHANGS-HST: Linking Stars and Gas throughout the Scales of Star Formation

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

North is 4.50° clockwise from up.


ESO 350-38

ESO 350-38

Found a kind of heart shaped galaxy interaction. It’s a bit small on the detector, but there is a lot of star formation going on. If we could see it in more detail there would be a lot of puffy, glowing ionized clouds across a substantial fraction of the galaxy.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
Clusters, Clumps, Dust and Gas in Extreme Star-Forming Galaxies
Lyman alpha morphology of local starburst galaxies

Red screen: WFC3/UVIS F665N
Blue screen: WFC3/UVIS F275W
Red: WFC3/IR F160W+WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: ACS/WFC F435W

North is 123.53° clockwise from up.


Arp 299

Arp 299

You’re looking at ongoing interaction between two or more galaxies, dark lanes of dust, and pink glowing gas associated with heavy star formation.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
An ACS Survey of a Complete Sample of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the Local Universe
Searching for the Progenitor of the Type Ib Supernova 2010O
Hi-PEEC, Hubble imaging Probe of Extreme Environments and Clusters
The Identification of Failed Supernovae

Reddish-Magenta screen: WFC3/UVIS F665N
Red: ACS/WFC F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: ACS/WFC F435W+WFC3/UVIS F438W

North is up.


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