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Yonkers Planetarium Manager Sheds Light On NASA's Newest Photograph

Marc Taylor debunks a popular astronomy myth in a demo video for the Hudson River Museum.
Marc Taylor debunks a popular astronomy myth in a demo video for the Hudson River Museum. Video Credit: Youtube: HRMPR

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Astronomers, using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, have assembled a comprehensive picture of the universe – among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the 24-year-old telescope, according to a release NASA issued .

Yonkers' Hudson River Museum's Andrus Planetarium Manager Marc Taylor shed some slight on what the photo means, and how locals can use the planetarium to learn more about the make up of the Universe.

The Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2014 image is a composite of separate exposures taken from 2003 to 2012 with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3.

"Because the telescope is not attached to Earth, they can point it at one part of the sky for very long time with great accuracy," he said. "They basically add all of that data up, all the light scattered throughout, and get an image of all the things that would be too faint to see from Earth."

Taylor said NASA has done this several times before, but when first ones were done, they were in infrared. This image, however, goes in the UV spectrum, which is light that humans are unable to see, until it is converted into visible colors.

Taylor said what the photo teaches NASA and the scientific community is a sense of, "galactic demographics." It shows the different kinds of galaxies and systems within the Universe and how they fit together.

Taylor said the planetarium will incorporate popular discoveries like this one that into their programs, and encouraged those who wish to learn more about it to ask questions during their presentations.

"The new planetarium is able to take data, which is being gathered by studies like this, and basically turn it into a form where you could really fly through it and see it from different perspectives," he said. "Now, you can do more than just look at a still picture."

He added that the planetarium currently has a model of what entire universe is like, which they use during their shows.

The Hudson River Museum's Andrus Planetarium is open to the public on weekends, with earlier programs for young children on the basics, and live shows later on for older children and adults exploring deeper topics like the search for alien life.

The museum is located at 511 Warburton Ave.


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