Adler Planetarium Offers Class on Astronomical Art

Class example of a spiral galaxy as astronomical art

January 20, 2008:

The Adler Planetarium is offering the class No Telescope, No Camera? No Problem: Making Astronomical Art with Your PC as a part of its Winter 2008 curriculum. The class is being taught by Jim Plaxco and will introduce students to the basics of working with planetary and astronomical images.

According to Jim, "the availability of raw imaging data from various planetary and astronomical missions means that anyone with a computer, an internet connection, and the appropriate software can create their own planetary and astronomical art work."

The class consists of two separate sessions each lasting at least two hours. The first session, held Saturday January 26, will cover the basics of image processing and working with planetary images. Astronomical and planetary image formats addressed will be the FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) and PDS (Planetary Data System) file formats.

The second session, held February 2, will be devoted to working with astronomical images and carrying out a variety of image processing operations including noise reduction, contrast enhancement, and color manipulation. The Adobe Photoshop software and FITS Liberator plugin will be used to demonstrate the various techniques.

Registration for the class is $40.00 for members of the Adler Planetarium and $50.00 for non-members. For additional details about the class, see the Adler Planetarium's Courses page (class link no longer valid).