ann1211 - Announcement

Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Revealed

23 August 2012

Hubble has made over a million observations since launch, but only a small proportion are attractive images — and an even smaller number are ever actually seen by anyone outside the small groups of scientists that publish them. But the vast amount of data in the archive means that there are still many hundreds of beautiful images scattered among the valuable, but visually unattractive, scientific data that have never been enjoyed by the public.

We call these pictures Hubble’s hidden treasures, and a few months ago, we invited the public to look through Hubble’s science archive to help us find them.

The response was impressive, with almost 3000 submissions. More than a thousand of these images were fully processed: a difficult and time-consuming task. We’ve already started featuring the best of these in our Hubble Picture of the Week series.

And to say thanks, we’re awarding prizes for the best images you found.

Prize winners — image processing category

There were 1189 entries in the image processing category, where contestants had to find promising data in the archive and process them into an attractive image. The top ten entries ranked by the jury are our prize winners; the top five of these were incredibly close and all impressed the judges in different ways.

Prizes:

  • First prize: Apple iPad, Laminated wall print, Autograph of astronaut John Grunsfeld (veteran of three Hubble repair missions), Hubble posters, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Second prize: Aluminium mounted Hubble print, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Third prize: Hubble poster, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Fourth to tenth prizes: Eyes on the Skies DVD, Hubble poster
  • People's choice (by public vote): Aluminium mounted Hubble print

First prize and winner of the public vote:

Josh Lake, star-forming region NGC 1763
Josh Lake (USA) submitted a stunning image of NGC 1763, part of the N11 star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. ESA/Hubble had previously published an image of an area just adjacent to this (heic1011), based on observations by the same team. Josh took a different approach, producing a bold two-colour image which contrasts the light from glowing hydrogen and nitrogen. The image is not in natural colours — hydrogen and nitrogen produce almost indistinguishable shades of red light that our eyes would struggle to tell apart — but Josh’s processing separates them out into blue and red, dramatically highlighting the structure of the region. As well as narrowly topping the jury’s vote, Josh Lake also won the public vote.

Second prize:

Andre van der Hoeven, spiral galaxy Messier 77
Andre van der Hoeven (Netherlands) came a close second in the jury vote. His image of the spiral galaxy Messier 77 is highly attractive, and is also an impressive piece of image processing, combining a number of datasets from separate instruments into one amazing picture. Andre entered several other noteworthy images into the competition, including a huge image of Messier 106, combining data from Hubble and other telescopes. His image of NGC 6537, a star-forming region, greatly impressed the jury too.

Third prize:

Judy Schmidt, star XZ Tauri
Judy Schmidt (USA) also entered several highly accomplished images into the competition. Her picture of XZ Tauri, a newborn star spraying out gas into its surroundings and lighting up a nearby cloud of dust, was the jury’s favourite. This was a challenging dataset to process, as Hubble only captured two colours in this area. Nevertheless, the end result is an attractive image, and an unusual object that we would never have found without her help. Judy’s other images also impressed our panel, in particular her images of Herbig–Haro object HH 909A and elliptical galaxy PGC 6240.

Fourth prize:

Renaud Houdinet, nebula Chamaeleon I
Renaud Houdinet (France) submitted a hugely ambitious mosaic of Hubble images. Chamaeleon I is a large nebula near the south celestial pole, and it does not fit into a single Hubble image. Renaud painstakingly tiled the exposures together. Despite the small gaps between the Hubble images, the jury was impressed by the technical achievement of putting together this ambitious vista.

Fifth prize:

Robert Gendler, spiral galaxy Messier 96
Robert Gendler (USA) is a well known figure in the amateur image processing world. His version of Hubble’s image of NGC 3190 is the default desktop image on new Apple computers. Robert submitted a number of excellent images into the competition. This image of Messier 96 was the jury’s favourite.

Sixth prize: Claude Cornen, SNR 0519-69

Seventh prize: Josh Barrington, PK111-2.1

Eighth prize: Flickr user kyokugaisha1, NGC 1501

Ninth prize: Nick Rose, Abell 68

Tenth prize: Nikolaus Sulzenauer, dwarf galaxy IC 10

Prize winners — basic image searching category

There were 1619 entries in our basic competition. This allowed the public to search and find amazing Hubble pictures even if they didn’t have the skills to fully process these themselves.

Prizes:

  • First prize: Apple iPod Touch, Laminated wall print, Autograph of astronaut John Grunsfeld (veteran of three Hubble repair missions), Hubble posters, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Second prize: Aluminium mounted Hubble print, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Third prize: Hubble poster, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Fourth to tenth prizes: Eyes on the Skies DVD, Hubble poster
  • People's choice (by public vote): Aluminium mounted Hubble print

First prize: Brian Campbell, NGC 6300

Second prize: Alexey Romashin, V* PV Cephei

Third prize: Luca Limatola, IRAS 14568-6304

Fourth prize: Kathlyn Smith, NGC 1579

Fifth prize: Adam Kill, B 1608+656

Sixth equal prize: Kathy van Pelt, NGC 4490

Sixth equal prize: Ralf Schoofs, NGC 4217

Eighth prize: Matej Novak, NGC 6153

Ninth prize: Gavrila Alexandru, NGC 7814

Tenth prize: Linda Morgan-O’Connor, NGC 7026

The public vote was won by Budeanu Cosmin Mirel for NGC 4100

Links

Contacts

Oli Usher
Hubble/ESA, Garching, Germany
Tel: +49-89-3200-6855
E-mail: ousher@eso.org

About the Announcement

Id:ann1211

Images

Collage of top images in the Hidden Treasures image processing competition
Collage of top images in the Hidden Treasures image processing competition
Collage of top images in the Hidden Treasures basic imaging competition
Collage of top images in the Hidden Treasures basic imaging competition

Videos

Hubblecast 57: Hubble's hidden treasures unveiled
Hubblecast 57: Hubble's hidden treasures unveiled

Also see our