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De-Coding Starlight: From Pixels to Images - High School

After the Activity

  1. By reviewing various "false color" schemes used by different groups, the students will get an idea about how the same data may be represented differently. A class discussion on the type of color schemes used may enhance the students' understanding of how different color styles may allow for varied interpretation.
  2. The students should also develop an understanding of how the "artist's impression" of the supernova remnant may vary among groups. If possible, the teacher should show the drawings from the different groups and compare them to some of the images of Cas A made by Chandra Scientists found at http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/0237/index.html.
  3. This activity provides a good introduction for student use of the SAOImage DS9 software. This software was developed by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) to first, acquire "raw" Chandra data, and then, to form and analyze "false color" images. The software and data are available for student use at the Chandra Education Data Analysis Software and Activities web site (http://chandra-ed.harvard.edu). If the students have not already done so, they may want to read "Chandra Chronicles" article, titled "A River of Data Flows Through the CIAO Waterworks (http://chandra.harvard.edu/chronicle/0401/ciao_data.html)." As mentioned earlier, this article discusses how computers assist Chandra scientists in converting numerical data to graphical images, and specifically, discusses the use of the SAOImage software.