Hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Constellation: Dorado (Dor)  ·  Contains:  30 Dor Cluster  ·  NGC 2005  ·  NGC 2009  ·  NGC 2015  ·  NGC 2033  ·  NGC 2037  ·  NGC 2042  ·  NGC 2044  ·  NGC 2048  ·  NGC 2050  ·  NGC 2052  ·  NGC 2055  ·  NGC 2060  ·  NGC 2069  ·  NGC 2070  ·  NGC 2074  ·  NGC 2080  ·  NGC 2081  ·  NGC 2083  ·  NGC 2084  ·  NGC 2093  ·  NGC 2100  ·  NGC 2108  ·  Tarantula Nebula
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?, 



    
        

            Alex Woronow
Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?
Powered byPixInsight

Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?, 



    
        

            Alex Woronow
Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?
Powered byPixInsight

Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?

Technical card


Astrometry.net job: 3972097

RA center: 5h 37' 17"

DEC center: -69° 18' 46"

Pixel scale: 2.226 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 174.070 degrees

Field radius: 0.892 degrees


Resolution: 2256x1800

Data source: Amateur hosting facility

Remote source: DeepSkyWest

Description

Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?

This is my fourth version of the Tarantula Nebula in as many days:

1. https://astrob.in/kj33x7/0/ - a full-frame, starless version (with acquisition details)

2. https://astrob.in/yaqx9p/0/ - a starless close-up of the inner-workings

3. https://astrob.in/4a50tq/0/ - the image 1 with stars down to 16th magnitude replaced

The image above presents a more traditional processing approach in that the stars were never removed, nor were they ever masked, during the processing. My motivations for this image are several but one of them is not to “show it like it is.” Quite arguably neither this image nor any image made with a camera and processed with computers does more than provide an electronic sketch of reality. Professional astronomers seldom call upon images as the principal data-source for their scientific studies; but for PR, yes; and for education, yes. Astro-images excel at expressing art and wonder.

Well, that’s enough of that! Back to my topic: the cost/benefit of stars in a nebula image as complex as this one. To me, having a full cadre of stars causes a notable loss of the ability to trace faint-nebula extent and complexity. This, in turn, lessens the image’s visual impact. Comparing this image with image 1, I find it difficult to trace the fainter nebular details, particularly away from the dominant Tarantula core itself. Even image 3, with just a smattering of stars, starts down the path of ‘stars distracting from the nebula.’ If we are not doing science (and few of us are), then we must be creating art. Art is personal, but I would rather show the starless images (1 and 2) than this one, or even image 3.

Admittedly, I’m fomenting controversy by taking a rather monolithic stand. How do you see the art/science issue, particularly in the context of the stars/no stars dichotomy?

Comments

Sky plot

Sky plot

Histogram

Tarantula for Star-Lovers – Are Stars an Addition or a Distraction?, 



    
        

            Alex Woronow