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 4567 & 4568

NGC 4567 & 4568

Here’s a particular kind of galactic grouping called an overlap. It is rare to find these line-of-sight treasures in unperturbed, likely non-interacting states or early stage interacting like this.

This image is an experiment combining data from HST with William Keel’s ground-based WIYN observations. I’ve done this a few times before, but I feel like this one turned out a bit better. You can see in the center there is a sharper area where the Hubble data were used, and outside of that is all the ground based data. The i and b filters from WIYN ended up being a pretty good match since I like to place the least noisy (HST data not necessarily the least noisy this time) and clearest data into the green channel, which is where the F606W neatly fits, with the i filter being a longer wavelength and the b being shorter.

Widefield, ground-based WIYN data were generously supplied by William Keel.

Data from the following HST proposal were used to create this image:
The Nuclei of Nearby S0 and Spiral Galaxies: A PC Snapshot Imaging Survey

Red: WIYN i
Green: HST/WFPC2 F606W + WIYN i+b pseudogreen
Blue: WIYN b

North is up.


NGC 7027 (Near-Infrared)

NGC 7027 (Near-Infrared)

A version of NGC 7027 using only the near-infrared observations. I used some relatively extreme processing to sharpen and saturate the image. Data are scaled to match the UVIS channel. It’s scaled by 323.70%, so that is why it looks a bit fuzzy. The resolution for the IR channel isn’t nearly as high as the UVIS channel.

You can see that the dust is now mostly transparent, and the stars are much more visible at these wavelengths. Some of the nebula is also more easily discernible. The upper right protrusion is interestingly brighter in the red/F167N channel, and shows an arcing filament that wasn’t seen as clearly in the narrowband visible image.

Note that the nebula is so bright it has its own faint diffraction spikes. Those are introduced by the telescope just like the spikes over the stars, and aren’t real structures.

Luminosity:
WFC3/IR F160W+F110W

Red: WFC3/IR F167N
Green: WFC3/IR F164N+F130N
Blue: WFC3/IR F128N

North is up.


NGC 7027

NGC 7027

Some new data for this nebula went public yesterday, and… it’s different. The observations were almost all narrowband emission lines, and there were a lot of them. Five visible, four near-infrared, two wideband near-infrared. For this image I used only the visible filters. It turned out quite colorful, and quite unlike all the Hubble imagery that came before it. [O III] really wants to dominate the image, but I toned it down quite a bit with a technique I only use rarely, which is to group filters by the similarity the reveal within the object rather than trying to merge all filters into a single image.

If you would like to see the old image of this nebula, check here: flic.kr/p/fC7DwR

I was interested to see if any more structures were revealed especially in the near-infrared data, like the double rings (it’s questionable they are really rings), but it’s not nearly as apparent in these data as it was back in the old NICMOS data. The double rings, if that’s what they are, are most pronounced in F212N, which is a molecular hydrogen filter. None of the filters for this image reveal quite the same structure that the F212N filter did.

The nebula expanded quite a bit in the two decades since the previous HST observations were taken. In terms of this image, the maximum movement amounted to around 8 pixels at WFC3/UVIS resolution (100% zoom of this image). All of the stars moved around, too. The new image is slightly higher resolution, but not much.

Explaining the processing further, I took the F673N, F487N, & F343N filters to make a 3-color image. I chose these because none of them was overwhelmingly brighter in any area than the other, but they all do still reveal delicate color separation. Next, I combined the F656N and F502N filters into a 2-color image. The signal for these two filters was much more intense, and they worked nicely together to reveal the fainter structures of the nebula, especially those faint shells emanating gently outward from the nebula in nearly circular formation. The 2-color combination is not especially colorful though, so I used it as a luminosity layer. Stars are always funky in narrowband imagery, so I removed all the stars from the 3-color image, leaving the 2-color luminosity layer to show them.

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

Luminosity:
WFC3/UVIS F656N + WFC3/UVIS F502N

Color:
Red: WFC3/UVIS F673N
Green: WFC3/UVIS F487N
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F343N

North is up.


NGC1052-DF4 & DF5

NGC1052-DF4 & DF5

Ultra diffuse galaxies subject to much debate regarding their dark matter content. A deep set of Hubble observations here are intended to help settle the distance to these strange, ghostly objects. I definitely don’t want to be part of any such debate, so I’m just going to stop here and let you enjoy the picture. DF4 is the brighter one, to the upper left. DF5 is to the lower right.

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

North is 20.30° counter-clockwise from up.


Meathook Galaxy (NGC 2442)

Meathook Galaxy (NGC 2442)

The Meathook Galaxy, or NGC 2442, is an easily recognizable
spiral galaxy with its bright northern arm and starkly contrasting dust lane. In typical spiral galaxy coloration, it has a warm yellow core with blue outer arms speckled with pink clouds of ionized, glowing hydrogen gas associated with star formation. A small, but conspicuous background galaxy is also peeking through just left of the nucleus.

This was an unlikely mosaic. Since late 2006, Hubble has been looking at this galaxy with its Advanced Camera for Surveys and Widefield Camera 3 in bits and pieces, usually involving supernovas and their progenitors. So the telescope looked here and there, but never at the whole galaxy in one sitting. Last year, enough observations had been made to nearly cover the galaxy in 3 channels. I’ve gathered them up into what I think is a decent result.

If you zoom in, you may notice some areas that have some odd or no coloration near the edges and dark parts. These are places where fewer observations were taken, and I couldn’t generate proper or perfectly matching color. I’m glad most of the galaxy was covered, though, because it’s really not noticeable. There is a place in the northeast arm right under that dark, dark dust lane where data were completely absent, and I filled it with a brightness-matching blank patch and some fake noise. Two other less obtrusive blank places are in the lower left and lower right corners. There is also a small spot where only older WFPC2 data were available, so it looks a little blurry. Other than that, nice data!

Special thanks to Bill Keel, who freely offered up his data to try and help fill the gaps. I ended up using his H-alpha data in places where there was none available from HST. Mostly the upper half, and a little on the right side. I also removed the stars and galactic nucleus from his data, leaving (hopefully) just the star-forming regions.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
Detecting the progenitors of core-collapse supernovae
Understanding the Progenitor Systems, Explosion Mechanisms, and Cosmological Utility of Type Ia Supernovae
Going gently into the night: constraining Type Ia supernova nucleosynthesis using late-time photometry
Continuing a Snapshot Survey of the Sites of Recent, Nearby Supernovae: Cycles 25 & 26
One last peek at SN 2015F
The Identification of Failed Supernovae
An archive to detect the progenitors of massive, core-collapse supernovae

Red: ACS/WFC F814W + ACS/WFC F658N + SARA H-alpha + WFPC2 F814W
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W + WFPC2 F606W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W + ACS/WFC F435W

North is 18.10° counter-clockwise from up.


2E 166, Globular Cluster in Andromeda

2E 166, Globular Cluster in Andromeda

Also called G280. It’s been a while since I processed some ACS/HRC (Advanced Camera for Surveys High Resolution Channel) data. It’s been broken for a long time, but there are still archival data that are nice to have a look at. As its name implies, the ACS/HRC was great at seeing fine details in even small objects like globular clusters in our neighboring Andromeda galaxy.

There is a green star in the upper right quadrant of the cluster, but that’s probably just a variable star. The data weren’t collected all at the same time.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
Metallicity Spreads in M31 Globular Clusters
Search for Black Holes in M31 Globular Clusters
A Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury - I

Red: ACS/HRC F606W+WFC3/UVIS F814W
Green: ACS/HRC F555W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F336W

North is up.


NGC 4826

NGC 4826

Here’s an old favorite galaxy that I’m glad to have had the chance to process some new observations for. This is also known as the Black Eye galaxy, and is among the most striking galaxies that Hubble has looked at. Previously a Hubble Heritage image release, new imagery is around 2.5 times the resolution of the old WF/PC2 imagery. That means more refined details are visible, especially If you are able to zoom all the way in. In fact, the texture of the individual stars forming even the smooth, redder, non star-forming parts the galaxy are now revealed. If you do zoom in, don’t mistake that grainy, noisy texture as actual noise. Those are stars!

I went ahead and did use some old WFPC2 data just to show glowing hydrogen gas. This usually works well without lowering the image quality, despite the disparity in resolution.

Data from the following proposals were used to create this image:
PHANGS-HST: Linking Stars and Gas throughout the Scales of Star Formation
The Smallest Nuclear Black Holes

Red: WFC3/UVIS F814W+WFPC2 F656N
Green: WFC3/UVIS F555W
Blue: WFC3/UVIS F438W+F336W+F275W

North is 142.85° clockwise from up.


NGC 4569

NGC 4569

Also known as M90 or Messier 90, this spiral galaxy exhibits less star formation than usual due to a phenomenon called ram pressure stripping. Gas that could have collapsed to form stars was instead stripped away as the galaxy moved through the intracluster medium between galaxies. Space may be mostly empty, but a galaxy moving fast enough through it can feel it.

This galaxy was observed as part of the wonderful PHANGS-HST.
archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

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

North is 18.79° counter-clockwise from up.


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.


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