Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Guest Photo of Star Color Comparison in NASA JPL Video

I was super excited when Jane Houston Jones contacted me about using one of my images in a video for the What's Up series: What's Up for January 2016. I'm feeling super cool to have my name listed in the image credits, and the video was coincidentally published today, on my birthday. Neato!


Back in 2013 I took some photos of Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, and Rigel to do a color comparison. One really simple technique to get a better look at the apparent color is to intentionally take a photo out of focus - this spreads the light of the star over more pixels on the image sensor, which not only makes the star look larger, but also helps to avoid undersampling with a Bayered sensor.

star color comparison
Out of focus star photos with 300mm lens showing star colors
In the video, the above composite is artfully cropped to make the stars Betelgeuse and Rigel appear to pop out of the constellation Orion, and then they are again compared to the hot blue base and relatively cooler upper flame of a candle. It was so cool to have these images used to help explain star color in a NASA JPL video.

nasa star color compare
In the video, my star images fly out from the constellation Orion, cool!
star temperature compare
Star color images compared to the parts of a candle flame in this screenshot from the video.

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