Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Detour to Hubble Telescope et al--A reflection

For the past few months, my cuckoo head had decided to turn my head on the big world outside the earth.

Honestly, I know about the eclipses and stuff because that was the content used for my dissertation study.  Since the joint college entrance exam didn't include the subject of planetary science and astronomy, that third year class in senior high school was taken lightly. Also, I haven't touched physics after the joint college entrance exam.

So instead of finishing the final chapter of my book, my head told me, "You ain't got enough meat."

So it demanded and demands and so I went from looking at the pretty picture taken by Grandpa Hubble (Grandpa as in my grandpa Canon) to learning about how Grandpa sees the big out there and how what is seen is captured.

En route, I read a 400-page book about the basics of optics in astronomy, sat in a course on "Fourier Transformation and its applications," revisited my calculus textbook, found myself even more lectures online, and spent a whole lot of time on the Hubble Site.

Then, I found pictures comparing Grandpa's eyesight before and after the spherical aberration thing was fixed and upgrading from WFPC 1 to WFPC 2. There were comparisons of galaxies, star clusters, and so on. But, I had my mind a mission of completing a comparison for one star--Melnick 34 or MK 34.

I chose MK 34 because of the inclusion of an image taken by a ground-based telescope. There was ground, WFPC 1 and WFPC 2 images. All I had to do was to find an image of MK 34 taken by WFPC 3. Seemed simple enough.

Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be so intrigued by MK 34 since the time of WFPC3. Rather, the spot light was on the giant bright cluster near by R136 or the runaway star but not on our poor MK 34.

MK 34 is the bright isolated star to the left of the R136 cluster in the righthand panel. (As per Wikipedia)
 I should have found an easier topic. In contrast to a galaxy, star cluster, or nebula, it is far more difficult to identify one star among gazillions of God knows who they are.

In short, I went online asking around and the feedback helped me to nail MK 34 (circled in red).

This, then, allowed me to complete the revolution of MK 34 in the eyes of the beholder.

Comparison of MK 34--ground based observation, WFPC 1, WFPC 2, and WFPC 3 (IR on the left and UV, visible light, IR on the right)

Some time into learning how Hubble sees and captures what we see, I thought of the analog between my pursuit of capturing the dasein of psychosis in words. There is something similar. Unfortunately, time to sign off for my very long beauty sleep.

No comments: