Imaging the Crab Nebula


Many celestial images are amazingly bright and colorful- Is that how we would view them with our naked eye? Not quite. When scientists take photos of space, they utilize color filters to help define specific wavelengths of light. This produces gorgeous pictures, but more importantly, valuable scientific information.

Three UNR undergraduate students used the GBO to create their own colored image of the Crab Nebula, a planetary nebula located in the constellation Taurus. They obtained 35 raw images (5 raw images for each filter) and then processed them using a program called AstrolmageJ.  After removing the noise and saturation caused by the imaging equipment, they stacked the images and colorized them. They produced a final colorized image of the Crab Nebula and can deduce from the final image that the Crab Nebula contains large amounts of sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen.

Check out their poster (attachment below) to learn more.


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