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 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.


NGC 7023

NGC 7023

A close up view of a section of NGC 7023, also known as the Iris Nebula. Off the top frame, the star HD 200775 shines brightly, illuminating the nebula with blue light. This view includes near-infrared light, revealing the reddened light of stars attenuated by their dusty environment. Red and brown hues represent light shining through dust, while blue represents light reflecting from dust and gas.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
The Exciting Wavelength of Extended Red Emission

Red: ACS/WFC F850LP
Green: ACS/WFC F625W
Blue: ACS/WFC F475W

North is 169.96° clockwise from up.


IRAS 17340-3757

IRAS 17340-3757

Mindlessly trying to waste some time lately by browsing for anything classified as a reflection nebula in the archive lately. This one is apparently a preplanetary nebula with the typical bipolar structure. Interestingly, the knots and linear formations seem fuzzier than other preplanetary nebulas I’ve processed. Not sure what that means if anything.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
When does Bipolarity Impose itself on the Extreme Mass Outflows from AGB Stars? An ACS SNAPshot Survey

I removed the occulting finger by using the content-aware fill tool (smart data cloning).

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

North is up.


IC 349

IC 349

Within the famous Pleiades open cluster is the star Merope, and near Merope, hiding within its glare, is a bright reflection nebula. Its mountainous peaks and sinuous appearance are likely sculpted by forces radiating from Merope. Oldie but a goodie.

Seems important to note that I removed a large diffraction spike which cut across the upper left of the image.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
Imagery of IC 349

Red: WFPC2 F814W
Green: WFPC2 F555W
Blue: WFPC2 F439W

North is 13.05° clockwise from up.


GRB 060614 Widefield

GRB 060614 Widefield

Done by special request. GRB 060614 is positioned above and just a bit to the left of center. If you notice the edge-on disk near the upper center of the image, it’s in the round, fuzzy galaxy at about 11 o’clock from that edge-on galaxy.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
A public SNAPSHOT survey of gamma-ray burst host galaxies
Solving the Mystery of the Short-Hard Gamma-Ray Bursts
Afterglows and Environments of Short-Hard Gamma-Ray Bursts
Gamma-Ray Bursts from Start to Finish: A Legacy Approach

Note the image is only 3-color in a rectangle covering most of the upper half of the image around the GRB location. The rest is a 2-color, pseudogreen image. In some places it is one color/grayscale.

I removed most of the diffraction spikes because they were very distracting, and none of them really lined up.

Red: WFC3/IR F160W
Green: ACS/WFC F814W
Blue: ACS/WFC F606W

North is up.


IC 342, Hidden Galaxy

IC 342, Hidden Galaxy

Famously overlooked grand design spiral galaxy IC 342 as seen last year (2019 Oct) by Hubble. It is situated rather close to the plane of our own galaxy, making it difficult to discern through all the dust and stars between us and it. It’s similar in size to the Triangulum Galaxy, but dimmed so much by dust that it wasn’t discovered until a couple hundred years later. Joint observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory are ongoing as astronomers survey for various x-ray emitting stellar sources within the galaxy.

Data from the following proposal were used to create this image:
The Giant Hiding in Our Backyard: The Nearby Spiral Starburst Galaxy IC 342

This was my first attempt at assembling a mosaic using Astrodrizzle. I don’t yet know how to align different filter sets to one another, but the mosaic assembly was much simplified by letting the software take care of it. It’s misaligned by maybe half a pixel in some places, and less than that overall. Not perfect, but I will continue to learn.

I increased the saturation substantially for the final image. Cyans were shifted to slightly bluer hues using Camera Raw. Small triangles were filled with cloned data in all four corners in an attempt to eke just a little more overall data into the frame.

Red: ACS/WFC F606W
Green: Pseudo
Blue: ACS/WFC F435W

North is up.


Arp 91

Arp 91

Another interacting pair of galaxies from the prolific Proposition 15446 for your consideration.

Establishing HST’s Low Redshift Archive of Interacting Systems

All Channels: ACS/WFC F606W

North is 9.12° counter-clockwise from up.


NGC 346

NGC 346

Got into a bit of a fake / joke argument with Cory Schmitz over on Twitter about the Small Magellenic Cloud being boring, and realized I didn’t have much imagery from the SMC! This addition will make two. The SMC isn’t necessarily boring, but it is, well, smaller, and has perhaps fewer things going on in it. But those things are still just as wonderful to look at! This is an active star-forming region with central a bright, blueish star cluster, and also an overlapping, older, redder cluster near the top. The cluster near the top looks kind of like one of those more diffuse globular clusters, but I looked around and couldn’t find anyone calling it that. Anyway, it’s surely one of the most beautiful vistas in our cosmic neighborhood.

Wispy, cloud-like structures are always associated with star formation, and here all the soft pinks and blues are gas giving off its own glow after getting energized by the very bright, newly formed stars. Dark clouds are places where dust is thick enough that light from any glowing gas and stars is being blocked. Sometimes the dust likes to blend into the background darkness of the sky, and we can’t even tell it’s there in visible wavelengths.

This particular dataset is very interesting to work with because there is a 2004 set and a 2015 set, giving an 11 year difference to compare the two. It’s really fun to blink the two back and forth and find all the stars with high proper motions, a few variable stars, and even an apparent dust-enshrouded star either brightening, or becoming exposed out of its dusty envelope. Not sure what’s going on there, but I did make an animation about it that I posted over at Twitter.

One thing I gotta do here is pay tribute to this earlier version of the image, processed years before I ever started doing this:
hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2005/news-2005-35.html

It’s a pretty challenging set of filters to work with, and it’s very easy to get some very out of balance colors out of it. So, kudos to those past and future who attempt this one.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
Current star formation in young, compact clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud
A 3D view of massive cluster formation in the SMC

50% Luminosity layer: ACS/WFC F685N
Red screen: ACS/WFC F685N
Red: ACS/WFC F814W
Green: Pseudo
Blue: ACS/WFC F555W

North is 2.5° clockwise from up.


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