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Menopausal Mother Nature

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NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge for summer 2023

NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge for summer 2023

Watch this video to learn more about NASA’s summer 2023 Astrophoto Challenge.

NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge

NASA is holding an Astrophoto Challenge for summer 2023, which runs from May 15 to July 31. The focus of this summer’s challenge is the dramatic Phantom Galaxy, M74. You can use real astronomical data and tools to create your own images and explore the mysterious structures within this galaxy. Or, just create an image that you think is beautiful.

In the challenge, you have the opportunity to capture your own real-time telescope image using the MicroObservatory robotic telescope network. You can also work with an archival set of data files taken with multi-wavelength NASA, ESA, and CSA space telescope missions (Webb, Hubble, Chandra, Spitzer, and XMM-Newton).

NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge includes instructions on how to turn the data into beautiful composite images with a simple and free web-based image processing tool used by professional astronomers. The JS9 image processing tool is widely used by the astronomical community to process and analyze the data. NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge uses a version of this tool, JS9-4L, developed for learners.

What is the Phantom Galaxy?

The Phantom Galaxy – M74 – lies in the constellation Pisces. The galaxy is home to about 100 billion stars. It was the focus of one of the Webb Space Telescope’s earliest images. Scientists have spotted three supernovas in the galaxy, in 2002, 2003 and 2013. The galaxy may also be home to an uncommonly sized intermediate-mass black hole.

Three colored spirals against a dark background.
View larger. | On the left, the Hubble Space Telescope’s view of the Phantom Galaxy shows older, redder stars toward the center, with younger and bluer stars in its spiral arms. Active star formation lies in the red bubbles of H II regions. On the right, the James Webb Space Telescope’s infrared vision highlights the masses of gas and dust within the galaxy’s arms and the dense cluster of stars at its core. In the center, the 2 images are combined. Images via Hubble/ Webb/ ESA.

Follow this link to join the summer 2023 Astrophoto Challenge.

Bottom line: NASA invites the public to participate in its Astrophoto Challenge for summer 2023. Learn the details here.

Astrophoto challenge: Words and scan code with deadline date atop a photo of a galaxy.
NASA’s summer 2023 Astrophoto Challenge runs from May 15 to July 31. Image via NASA.


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