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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My astroimages converted to 3D, a collection of movie clips

I have converted my astronomical images to a various 3D-formats. This time I made a video collection out of my experimental nebula 3D-models.

My astronomical images as an experimental 3D-conversions
This is a looped 14 min video, click to start and stop. Original movie is in HD720p resolution.

Click the Youtube logo at lower right corner to see this video in Youtube.
Then, please, click the gear symbol, to see the video at 720p HD-format.

3D-stereo images from my astrophotos can be seen HERE

All my astronomical images can be seen HERE

How the 3D-models are done?

Due to enormous distances of cosmic objects, no real parallax can be imaged to get a 3D-information. I have developed a method to turn my images to a 3D-models.
Here is a short and simplified explanation, how 3D images are done:

My 3D-experiments are a mixture of scientific data, deduction and an artistic impression. 

I collect distance and other useful scientific information before I do my 3d-conversion.
Usually there are known stars, coursing the ionization, so I can place them at right relative distance. If I know a distance to the nebula, I can finetune distances of the stars so, that right amount of stars are front and behind of the object. I use a "rule of thumb" method for stars, brighter is 
closer, but if a real distance is know, I try to use it. 

Many shapes can be figured out just by looking carefully the structures in nebula. Like dark nebulae must be at front of the emission ones to show. The general structure of many star forming regions are very same. There is a group of newly born stars, as an open cluster inside of the nebula. The stellar wind from the stars is then blowing the gas away around the cluster and forming a kind of gavitation, a hole, around it. The pillar like formations in the nebula must point to a source of stellar wind, for the same reason.

Since nebulae are practically transparent and the gas itself is emitting light, the thickness of the gas can be estimated by its brightness. Emission of ionized Oxygen, O-III, needs lots of energy. For that reason, Oxygen emission seen in the photo must be at close proximity of the ionizing star(s).  

The processing workflow itself is kind of sculpting and the result is always an approximate reality.

I turned the original 2D-image to 3D by using a surface modeling software.
Image is first divided to layers by its content in a image processing software. Each layer is then projected to a 3D-surface. To build the 3D-surfaces and to have a good and realistic forms, I'm using a software, that converts the shades in the image to a 3D-form. I have semi automated the whole process, so it doesn't take too much time to make a 3D-conversion.

The nice thing about the final 3D-model is, that only image elements from the original 2D-image are used!

A typical surface model without textures

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Astro Anarchy get published

Yesterday was an opening ceremony for the new facilities of The "Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education" in Haukipudas. One of my images was selected there as a public artwork in a main lobby.

The Cirrus of Cygnus
A very large photographic print on aluminium, 3x10m

The photo is printed on aluminium and it has a glossy finishing. This is one of the largest art prints I have ever seen. The size of the photographic prin is over 3 x 10 meters (= 10 x 33 feet) 
Even in that size, the image is very sharp, since the original image is in very high resolution due to mosaic technique used. An info board for the artwork can be seen next to the door at middle right.

An opening ceremony

Yours truly at left in a red shirt. Photo copyright OSAO

About the photo
Click for a very large image, 3000 pixels wide and 4,5MB

A mapped color image from the emission of ionized elements,
R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen.

The image above spans about 15 degrees of sky horizontally, that's 30 fool Moons side by side in a sky!
There are nine panels seamlessly stitched together. Each panel has been shot three times for a color image by using emission line filters for Hydrogen, Oxygen and Sulfur. A camera lens, Canon EF 200mm f1.8, was used with a cooled astronomical camera, QHY9. Original image is about 20000 pixels wide . Total exposure time is around 90h.

The "Cirrus of Cygnus" is a part of a much large image of this area. 
Note! a very large image, 2300 pixels wide and 4,7MB
The Cirrus formation can be seen at upper part of the image above.

More info in this blog post:

Couple of closeups from a mosaic image above

The propeller nebula, this area can be seen at middle of bottom edge in the topmost image.
Original blog post about the Propeller Nebula:

Sharpless object 112 can be seen as a dim batch at left, near a bottom edge, next to a brighter blue area, in a topmost image.

Orientation in constellation Cygnus

It does look like a Cirrus cloud

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tone Mapping V2.0, my lecture at NEAIC conference, New York

Click the image to download a PDF-tutorial

Click the image to download a PDF-tutorial

I'm offering my development work for free.
Donations are welcome especially since I don't have any equipments to continue my imaging work.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Two collections of planetary nebulae in scale

Since I don't have any equipment to continue my imaging work, I have organized my image archives. This time I made an image collection out of the planetary nebulae imaged by me. I'm trying to show here, how large they appear to be in the sky. There is an image of the Moon as a scale in the posters. The Moon has an angular diameter of about 30 arc minutes, that's equal to 0,5 degrees. I have made a similar poster out of the supernova remnants, it can be seen HERE.

A collection of planetary nebulae as a poster
Click for a full resolution image

A collection of very large planetary nebulae as a poster
Click for a full resolution image. Please, read the NOTE under the image!


A friend of mine, Sakib Rasool, contacted me for this posters. There is an error in second one.
Sh2-223 is actually an emission nebula. You can read a paper about it here:


For more information about palnetary nebulae:
All images are emission line images shot with a Baader narrowband filter set, cooled astronomical camera QHY and Meade LX200 GPS.

Links to my original photos with technical details

Poster 1

Poster 2

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Best amateur astronomy photos of the past four years, by the Telegraph

My photo of the constellation Cygnus was selected as one of the best amateur astronomy photographs of the past four years by the Telegraph. The collection of images can be seen HERE, my image is a number 09.

A mosaic image of constellation Cygnus 
Reprocessed, NOTE. a large image 2300 pixels wide and 4.3MB

Image is in mapped colors from the emission of ionized elements, R=Sulfur, G=Hydrogen and B=Oxygen. Native size of  this image is over 15.000 x 10.000 pixels.

More information and images HERE