HEIC and STScI Image Processors
Davide de Martin
Contracted by ESA/Hubble
- ESO Garching, Germany
Davide de Martin is an engineer and an amateur astronomer. He was born and lives in Venice, Italy, where he works in the power supply industry. His main interest is astronomy. Ever since he was a child he loved this topic and looking at the night sky. His other interests count manned and unmanned space exploration, astronomy popularization, computer enhancement of astronomical images, drawing, painting and collecting material from the early manned space age.
Since 1997, he has collaborated with an Italian astronomy magazine called "Coelum." He has written dozens of columns and several articles, most of them about space exploration and spaceflight history. He has produced or taken part in several works in popular science, like websites and multimedia CD-ROMs.
One of his most recent projects is the web site http://www.skyfactory.org.
In 2005 he became part of the ESA/Hubble Education and Outreach Office working as a consultant image processing specialist. Davide has a 13-inch telescope and enjoys observing celestial marvels on the warm Italian summer nights.
Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESA/Hubble - ESO Garching, Germany
Lars Christensen is a science communication specialist heading the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre group in Munich, Germany where he is responsible for the public outreach and education for the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope in Europe.
Lars obtained his Master’s Degree in physics and astronomy from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Before assuming his current position he spent a decade working as a science communicator and technical specialist for Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen.
Lars has more than 100 publications to his credit, most of them in popular science communication. He is author of The Hands-On Guide to Science Communication as well as co-author of a colourful book on light phenomena. He has produced material for a multitude of different media from star shows, laser shows and slide shows, to web, print, TV and radio. His methodology is concentrated around devising and implementing innovative strategies for the production of efficient science communication and educational material. This work involves working with highly skilled graphics people and technicians, the result of which for instance is visible at: http://www.spacetelescope.org.
Lars is a founding member and secretary of the International Astronomical Union Working Group on "Communicating Astronomy with the Public" (http://www.communicatingastronomy.org/ ) and he is currently involved in defining a national astronomy communication strategy for Denmark.
ESA/Hubble - ESO Garching, Germany
Martin Kornmesser got his degree in graphics design in Munich in 1989. In those days the computers were not yet the favorite tools of graphic designers and Martin actively started exploring the emerging but fascinating world of computer graphics in the nineties.
In 1990 Martin Kornmesser founded his own company ART-M, where he made illustrations, wallpaintings, and other types of graphics. in 1999 he joined ESA's Hubble Space Telescope outreach group.
His responsibilities include producing images, illustrations, 3D animations, videos, and much more.
I was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, of Hungarian parents, came to the U.S. at the age of four, and grew up near Baltimore, Maryland. I became interested in astronomy in high school, being particularly fascinated by the magnificent photographs made with the world's great telescopes. Trying to make photos with my own home-built telescope helped fuel an avid interest in all things technical and a growing passion for photography.
I pursued astronomy at Indiana University in Bloomington, studies that also included heavy doses of math, physics, and computer science. I left college in 1975 with a degree in Astrophysics for graduate studies at Case Western Reserve University (Warner and Swasey Observatory) in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1978 I joined Computer Sciences Corporation at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where I helped support a variety of space science missions, culminating with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite.
I arrived at the newly-established Space Telescope Science Institute in 1983, still employed by CSC, to help design and implement software for astronomers to view and analyze data obtained by the not-yet-launched Hubble Space Telescope. The next several years were a roller-coaster ride of anticipation, dissappointment, and triumph, watching launch delays, the Challenger accident, deployment of the telescope, realization of serious problems, and finally the successful servicing of HST in 1993. Each subsequent servicing mission has greatly improved the capabilities of the telescope, and allowed it to produce better and more interesting images.
In 1993 I began to work in the Office of Public Outreach at STScI, now employed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). I started this phase of my career just when the first remarkable data emerged from the repaired telescope, and found myself helping to produce and distribute the first successful images. Ever since, I have been privileged to work with scientists and technical professionals here at STScI and throughout the world to assemble the observations into photos, illustrations, video and other products that we distribute to the public via the internet, news media, and educators.
I am a member of the Hubble Heritage Team, which strives to showcase the finest images made by the Hubble Space Telescope. I have been fortunate to assemble and help publicize some of the most remarkable HST images, including the Orion Nebula, Whirlpool Galaxy, Helix Nebula, Hubble Deep Fields, Andromeda Galaxy Halo, and many others. Translating data intended for scientific analysis into photographs meaningful to many viewer turns out to be an interesting challenge. I have tried to apply lessons learned from the work of the greatest photographers to tease out as much beauty as possible from the wealth of information hiding in the exquisite data.
When I'm not busy with Hubble photos and news, I enjoy my family and trying to make photographs with my earth-bound camera while traveling, hiking, camping, and canoeing, as well as occasionally getting my hands dirty gardening, woodworking and keeping the house from falling apart.
I have been working at STScI since 1996 and started
on the Hubble Heritage Project in early 1997. My
titles with the team include Image Processor and
Project Coordinator, and I keep up with the monthly
schedule of releases, planning future observations,
hiring and training interns and keeping other team
members busy. Coming close to our 100th release
which will occur in fall of 2006, I have had the
pleasure of being awestruck by some of the most
moving images that the telescope has taken.
I studied astronomy in college for 11 years, at Oswego State, Arizona State University, and Wesleyan University. I must say I love observing the most: observing Kitt Peak, Cerro Tololo, Flagstaff, Keck and of course with Hubble, are now at the top of the my list for precious astronomical memories.
I do have some professional interests: luminous
blue variable, issues of Women in Astronomy, working
on software to find coordinates on astronomical
images. Working on the Hubble Heritage Team, I satisfy
other needs---to find beauty in science, to share
it with others, to help others be inspired, and
enable them to see something wonderful.