What Would You See?
I talked a bit about galaxies and the human eye the other day. On a related note, I thought I’d link to this:
It’s a somewhat-old (2005) post from Dr Gregory Laughlin’s exoplanets-focused blog. But in it, they have a look at what several objects ‘actually do’ look like. It was interesting to see the contras between the Hubble Sombrero Galaxy image and what the human eye would actually see. I was also very surprised to discover that the Cassini images of Jupiter apparently actually are more or less correct – I’d always assumed they were somewhat-manipulated too.
This is the great strength of astronomy, of course. It lends itself to visual representation in a way that’s possibly unique amongst the sciences. It is fundamentally a very visual thing. To some extent everything comes down to imaging, as everything revolves around light in some way. (The only exceptions I can think of are arguably cosmic ray-based work, and maybe neutrinos. But they’re rather exotic.)
Of course, there are occasions when it sadly can’t supply the images we’d like, as well, which can be rather frustrating. I’d very much like to see a T-dwarf up close, but regrettably I never will. (I’m not one of those people who try to claim Jupiter for the T dwarfs, I should add…) I suppose it’s just barely possible that something like E-ELT might – might! – somehow resolve a brown dwarf disk, but I’m not holding my breath.