February 04, 2006

Photoshop & Rocket Scientists

News of astronauts firing an empty space suit into orbit (seems like such a dude thing to do, doesn’t it? “Heh heh–when it hits the atmosphere it’ll blow up real good, heh heh”) got me thinking about Photoshop’s role in space imaging.
Data captured by the Hubble Space Telescope & other high-powered telescopes are stored in the FITS format, as packets that need to be re-assembled for use on computers. To make the public-domain data widely available (beyond the 900 or so pro astronomers in the world), a team from the European Southern Observatory, ESA, and NASA created the FITS Liberator plug-in for Photoshop. NASA’s Hubble Source features an article on creating your own color Hubble images using the tools together. As of version 1.6.05 FITS Liberator had some 50,000 users, and version 2.0 (released in August) takes advantage of new 32-bit HDR imaging support in Photoshop CS2.
Check out the image gallery, and drop us a line if you try out FITS Liberator with Photoshop. We’d love to hear your story & see your images.
[More SuitSat links here and here]

Posted by John Nack at 10:29 AM on February 04, 2006
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