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).


8 Micron Spitzer View of the Galactic Core

8 Micron Spitzer View of the Galactic Core

The same mosaics from this view except using the 8 micron data for luminosity, and the other three channels for color. This significantly reduces the starlight signal, though not totally. Still makes it much easier to see the dust and emission nebulas.

Note that much of the nebulosity is in the foreground as we view the Milky Way’s center through one of the arms of the Milky Way. It is difficult to discern or even measure the distance to each piece, but generally, the larger structures that extend far away from flat central plane are foreground objects, while thinner, smaller pieces that remain close to the plane are closer to the core. Many of these smaller objects are overlapped and obscured by mid and foreground objects.

Luminosity: 8.0 µm (IRAC4)
Red: 5.8 µm (IRAC3)
Green: 4.5 µm (IRAC2)
Blue: 3.6 µm (IRAC1)

The image is presented in galactic coordinates, with north up in that regard.


A Reprocessed Spitzer View of the Galactic Core

A Reprocessed Spitzer View of the Galactic Core

This is a view using FITS file mosaics generously provided courtesy of Susan Stolovy, with attribution to Rick Arendt and Solange Ramirez for their work in producing the final mosaics. Her team used a processing technique that alleviated some of the saturation issues arising in some of the brighter parts of the mosaic that one might find in the mosaics provided by the Spitzer archive.

My take is not necessarily much different than what’s already been done, but it is quite a bit less saturated than what you can find on the Spitzer website, and just a bit more of those wispy dust and gas formations can be made out. Anyway, it’s nice to work with some data where someone else has already done most of the work.

For reference, here is a link to the original version using the same wavelengths on the Spitzer website: www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1540-ssc2006-02a-A-Cauldro…

Screen: 8.0 µm (IRAC4)
Red: 5.8 µm (IRAC3)
Green: 4.5 µm (IRAC2)
Blue: 3.6 µm (IRAC1)

The image is presented in galactic coordinates, with north up in that regard.


NGC 2336

NGC 2336

Recent observations revealing the many-armed, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 2336 as only Hubble can. The imagery used to create this image was taken in January 2020. Meanwhile, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is also tasked with looking at this galaxy, though I haven’t looked into the details of that, yet.

Edit: Checked on CXO observations, and so far none yet, but I did notice that of the proposed 200 kilosecond time, they only gave Dr. Antoniou 50 ks. Ouch! Here’s hoping that’s enough.

Data from the following proposal was used to create this image:
Determining How X-ray Binary Populations Vary Through Time

Note there are a number of blank areas in the image where data were absent. I filled those with background-matched noise to make them visually unobtrusive. Some other areas also lack a full range of color, being only covered by 1-2 filters.

The pixel scale is 0.05 arcseconds per pixel.

Red: ACS/WFC F814W
Green: ACS/WFC F555W
Blue: ACS/WFC F435W

North is exactly to the right.


NGC 6684

NGC 6684

Not quite elliptical, not quite a spiral… it’s lenticular. Love these subtle, ghostly galaxies. Very little dust or star formation to speak of, leaving the stellar structure plainly visible, though highly diffuse.

Data from the following ambitious proposal were used to create this image: Every Known Nearby Galaxy

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


Quadruply Lensed Quasar 2M1310-1714

Quadruply Lensed Quasar 2M1310-1714

The same quasar seen in four separate instances due to the effect of the foreground mass intervening between the viewer and the quasar, causing distorted light paths, otherwise known as gravitational lensing.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
H0, the stellar initial mass function, and other dark matters from a large sample of quadruply imaged quasars

Pixel scale is 0.0396 arcseconds per pixel.

WFC3/IR F160W was used as a "screen" layer for both the green and blue channels.

Red: WFC3/IR F160W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F814W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F475X

North is up.


C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) Coma with Subtraction Model

C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) Coma with Subtraction Model

2020 Aug 03: Phil Plait wrote a bit about this in his newsletter: badastronomy.substack.com/p/ban-241-climate-irony-goodbye…

Data originally collected by William C. Keel on 2020 July 24 using the Jacobus Kapteyn 1m telescope with SARA. He’d already done the work of flat fielding and stacking the exposures in r, v, and b bands, and asked if I’d like to take a shot at processing it further.

At first I was interested in the faint striations already visible in the tail, but later I discovered a kind of spiral emanating from the coma. Initial attempts weren’t pretty, and had a lot of introduced artifacts. At some point I realized I could use the same kind of subtraction model I’ve used in the past for elliptical galaxies to take away excess light in a uniform pattern, which brings out structures that do not match that uniform pattern.

The spiral pattern was most apparent in the b band, mostly visible in the v band, but almost completely gone in the r band. Because of this, I went ahead and used color data from the normal, non-subtracted RVB image, and luminosity from just the model-subtracted b band.

I did use some rather heavy noise reduction in the darker parts of the image, but noise reduction was not necessary for the brighter parts. I tried to make the noise appear uniform. Some small columns of missing data created by a dead or hot pixel were cloned out to the lower right within the coma.

Future reference for self: The curve you need to start with for comets is 1/x (with many thanks to Bill for figuring this out for me)

Pixel scale is 0.34" per pixel

Luminosity: model-subtracted b band
Red: r band
Green: v band
Blue: b band

North is up.


Jupiter 2019 July 21

Jupiter 2019 July 21

Some of the latest Jupiter data from the HST joint observation program for the Juno probe. Jupiter here in nearly RGB filters; the equatorial limb areas look a tad bluer than they normally would because the blue channel is a near-uv filter. This also makes the Great Red Spot and some of the cloud bands look a little redder.

Ganymede was in the frame, but hiding invisibly in Jupiter’s shadow.

This image represents Jupiter as it would have appeared on 2019-07-21 at 14:05:03 UTC.

This image was made thanks to data collected for the following proposal:
Wide Field Coverage for Juno (WFCJ): Jupiter’s 2D Wind Field and Cloud Structure

Red: WFC3/UVIS F631N (id9o45cwq)
Green: WFC3/UVIS F502N (id9o45cvq)
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F395N (id9o45cuq)

North is up.


NGC 6302 with [Fe II] Emission

NGC 6302 with [Fe II] Emission

New observations from 2019 (Prop 15953/Joel Kastner) reveal [Fe II] emission, shown here in pink, along the edges of the biopolar outflows of this young planetary nebula. I created this image specifically to clearly detail this discovery, deliberately arranging filters and assigning colors that would draw one’s eyes to the new emission line data.

Hat tip to Bruce Balick for his original idea of removing the stars in the [Fe II] data. Through a strange series of emails I ended up "stealing" this idea, but he seemed happy about it when confession time came.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
WFC3 ERO: Planetary Nebula
Young and Rapidly Evolving: a Panchromatic WFC3 Imaging Study of the Planetary Nebulae NGC 7027 and NGC 6302

Note that stars were manually removed from the F164N/[Fe II] data.

Red screen: F164N ([Fe II])
Red: F673N
Yellow-Green: F658N
Blue: F373N

North is 35.20° clockwise from up.


RAFGL 5180

RAFGL 5180

Gazing into deep this dusty maelstrom using near-infrared filters, Hubble reveals many stars and star-forming activities that might otherwise be obscured by dust. Strongly red spots indicate [Fe II] emission. There are only a few tiny splotches of those. Make of that what you will.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image: Peering to the Heart of Massive Star Birth

Red: WFC3/IR F164N
Cyan: WFC3/IR F160W
Blue: WFC3/IR F110W

North is 45.51° counter-clockwise from up.


NGC 7764A

NGC 7764A

Another collisional mess from Julianne Dalcanton’s voluminous interacting galaxies program. The weird galaxies to the right are supposed to look like a Star Trek ship, but I’m not sure I see it. Definitely one of those things that goes away after more than a glance. At this point I think it looks like someone tossing a pizza dough.

Establishing HST’s Low Redshift Archive of Interacting Systems

All Channels: ACS/WFC F606W

North is 1.45° clockwise from up.


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