Hubble’s Technicolour Universe
Over the past 25 years images from the Hubble Space Telescope have reinvigorated and reshaped the public’s perception of our Universe. Hubble astronomical photos revealed properties of the cosmos that for most of human history has only been probed in the imagination. This has been accomplished through assembling an ever-growing portfolio of evocative and colourful space imagery. Hubble’s large selection of filters provides an opportunity to bring out scientific as well as aesthetic detail in astronomical targets. Every effort is made to create colour images that are as close to the object’s “true-colour” as reasonable. Sometimes the radiation extends beyond human colour perception into infrared and ultraviolet light. The resulting Hubble images are “super-panchromatic.” The guiding aesthetic is to create an effective colour image that captures the essence of a celestial object – in the tradition of such great nature photographers as Ansel Adams.
About Ray Villard
Ray Villard is news director for the Space Telescope Science Institute, where he translates Hubble’s discoveries into stories for the media and public. He has received several NASA service awards. Ray has written a variety of freelance articles and scripts for syndicated science programmes on public radio, and planetariums. In 2004, he published a book on the discovery of extrasolar planets, Infinite Worlds. He co-wrote an adaption of the book for the National Geographic Channel. That programme, Alien Earths, was nominated for the 2010 Prime Time Emmy Awards.