Meet Judy Schmidt, the ‘Citizen Scientist’ Turning Webb Telescope Data Into Stunning Images, Sarah Cascone, δημοσίευση στο Artnet [15/9/2022]Marilena Pateraki
NASA’s newly operational James Webb Space Telescope is continuing to beam back otherworldly images of the distant cosmos to earth—and some of them are being processed by a citizen scientist with a background in art and graphic design.
Creating the stunning space art that we’ve come to expect from Webb and its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, requires a little more work than snapping a photo on your phone. Each image represents a translation of raw data from the telescope, based on different observations, many of which are of light that is not visible to the human eye.
NASA and its partners have visual developers dedicated to this complex task, blending art and science. But there are also enthusiastic amateurs who will try their hand at processing the publicly available data from the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes—citizen scientists like Judy Schmidt of Modesto, California, who has helped create some of the official Webb images released by the space agency.
Despite not having a formal astronomy education, Schmidt has been doing astronomical image processing using NASA data for years. She started out a decade ago by entering a contest to find “Hubble’s Hidden Treasures,” creating images from unprocessed Hubble data, and was shocked to win third place. It was the beginning of a new passion for Schmidt, who was even profiled on the space agency’s website in 2018.
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