Readers discuss colors and elevations in James Webb Space Telescope images and more

space panels

The first stunning images from the James Webb Space Telescope provide the deepest and clearest view yet of outer space, Lisa Grossman mentioned in “Postcards from a new space telescope“(SN: 8/13/22, p. 30).

JWST monitors space using infrared radiation, a type of light invisible to the human eye. To visualize the images, scientists color them. reader John Dorman I wondered how this coloring is done.

JWST images were colorized by senior data visualization developer Joseph DePasquale and science visualization developer Alyssa Pagan, both from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Grossman Says. Their basic rule is to draw pictures using wavelengths of light as a guide. It says that the light emitted at the longest wavelength in an image is designated as red, and the shortest as blue. The wavelengths between them are Set a spectrum of greens and yellows (SN: 3/17/18, p. 4). But there are also other considerations, such as data on the chemical compositions of the objects in the photo. How to color these elements can be more art than science, Grossman Says. “There’s a personal art to it, too.”

reader Stu Kantor We asked why some of the stars in the JWST images appear to have eight spines – six large and two smaller (see ‘Out of this world’ below).

These are called diffraction spikes, Grossman He says, and they are an artifact of the telescope’s optical setup. The JWST has two mirrors: a hexagonal primary mirror and a smaller secondary mirror located in front of the primary mirror and fixed to three support beams. When the telescope strikes, the light at both edges of the secondary mirror supports is bent, resulting in six diffraction spikes. The six edges of the base mirror also create six screws. Scientists designed the telescope so that four of the spines of the secondary supports overlapped four of the spines of the primary mirror, Grossman He says, so even though there are 12 spikes, we only see eight.

Diffraction heights are not unique to JWST. “Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have these as well, but they only have four,” Grossman Says. “The eight points are a hallmark of JWST, like the artist’s signature.”

on the nose

Scientists have discovered a neural link in the dog’s brain that links the olfactory system to vision, which may help explain why humanity’s best friend is good smell. Laura Sanders mentioned in “A new nose-to-brain association identifier in dogs“(SN: 8/13/22, p. 9).

The story inspired many readers to think about the behavior of their furry friends.

“I now know why the German Shepherd couldn’t play the simplest version of the shell game,” Ed Hughes Wrote. “Using a small piece of dog food and two Dixie cups…one shift in place of the cup to hide the dog food completely confused her. I could watch her eyes follow the cup, but she didn’t pick up the cup with the dog’s food. She pre-marked it with her nose, and anything her eyes detected was ignored. completely “.

reader Roy R Ferguson He shared his fascination with dogs’ sniffing abilities, having worked with animals on search and rescue efforts for the past 20 years with his wife.

“We’ve learned to allow K-9s to do their job with the least amount of superior visibility possible,” Ferguson Wrote. “They are constantly making decisions that seem unusual at the time but make sense once they know the full story.”

“Our K-9s have identified drops of blood in light rain and human decomposition in various vehicles. Live discoveries include a man who wandered for more than 10 miles after being hit in the head and a 6-year-old who was outside all night…. The child found that he It was noticeable due to the large amount of odor polluting the area,” Ferguson added.

“We have no idea how these wonderful creatures do such wonderful deeds. They crack their hearts for nothing more than praise and the reward of a game,” Ferguson Wrote. “It happened [us] We are there to support, drive, and operate the radio. In return, they make us look like we know what we’re doing.”

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