Ever wonder how NASA creates those stunning, brilliantly colored images from space? Wonder no more! The agency has created a time-lapse video demonstrating the effort behind imaging the cosmos.
The video (below) shows how Photoshop is used to reconstruct a Hubble panorama of spiral galaxy NGC 3982. Data from seven greyscale image of the galaxy are scaled, rotated, and combined into one image that undergoes color retouching and further editing before it is is ready for release. The whole process takes 10 hours.
Gizmodo explains why NASA chooses to Photoshop its images:
Scientists have to choose how to represent this information in a way that we can observe directly. Sometimes they will use a natural representation, which is very close to what we would see if we zoomed there inside the Enterprise. Other times they will choose representative color, which helps them see invisible features of the object—like those that can only be captured in infrared or ultraviolet light. And sometimes they show the image in enhanced color, a hyperrealist mode that brings a lot of hidden, subtle details.
Watch the video to see the process unfold, then explore NASA's HubbleSite to learn more about the story behind these epic pictures. For more incredible images, click on over to our slideshow of 10 amazing Hubble images.