Arizona/NASA Space Grant Success Stories

UA Space Grant Intern Developed Web Facility for Enhancing Cometary Comae Images with AZSGC Partner Planetary Science Institute

N.H. Samarasinha, S.M. Larson, and M.P. Martin (left to right) in front of a display showing the results from the web facility.
Monday, December 23, 2013

FY 2012 Space Grant Intern, M. Patrick Martin, has developed a web facility to allow both professional and amateur astronomers to digitally enhance images of cometary comae. Patrick, a University of Arizona junior majoring in mathematics, computer science, linguistics and Spanish, worked with Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Nalin H. Samarasinha and University of Arizona Senior Staff Scientist Stephen M. Larson to implement this web-interface.

The Planetary Science Institute is hosting this facility and it can be accessed at the URL http://www.psi.edu/research/cometimen . This will enable one to digitally enhance coma images of comets using five different image enhancement techniques.

During the testing phase of this project, a number of amateur astronomers have used this facility to enhance their images of comet ISON, a comet that evoked great interest not only among the astronomers but also among the public. The NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program and the Planetary Science Institute provided additional support for this work.

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Enhancing Comet Images