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Welcome to NASA's Astrophoto Challenge!

First, we’ll take you through the steps of using our JS9-4L image processing tool.

Then you can process your own astronomical images, which you can submit to NASA’s Astrophoto Challenge.

Start Guided Tour

Select an Image

Start by opening a sample image file to practice using JS9-4L. Click on one of the MicroObservatory Lagoon Nebula images in the Challenge Images dropdown.

If you are ready for the NASA Data Challenge, you can choose one of the NASA image files here.

Next

Adjust the Scale

Use these scales to highlight different regions of relative brightness in your image. Log scale works best for dim images.

Switch between the scales to see how regions that appear black suddenly reveal much greater detail.

Next

Adjust the Controls

Use these sliders to fine-tune the contrast.

Pixel values below the Low Brightness Limit will be absolute black, values above the High Brightness Limit will be absolute white.

Next

Advanced Controls

The Contrast and Bias sliders are advanced tools that allow you to stretch, squish and shift the pixel value range in which your colors are displayed.

Play with them as you like to enhance your image!

Next

Adjust the Color


Choose from this list of colormaps to either
add beauty to your image, or highlight the
relative brightness of different regions in your image.

You can also make real-color images with
RGB mode, but you ought to watch a tutorial
on creating RGB images first.

Next




Save Your Image

When you’re done, don’t forget to save your image to your computer or device! You’ll need it when you submit your image to the Astrophoto Challenge.


And make sure to choose either PNG or JPEG format. (FITS format won’t save all the processing that you’ve done.)

Next

Close the Image

At this point you know the main steps of processing images in JS9-4L, so you don’t need the Lagoon Nebula image that you opened at the beginning.

You can close any image by clicking the ‘X’ next to the image filename in the My List dropdown.

**You can open your own image by using the "Image" dropdown**

Next




Explore More

If you would like more detailed help, the button on the left will take you to a video tutorial on processing images.

You can also request your own images of the Lagoon Nebula (and other objects) using MicroObservatory telescopes. Just follow the button on the right.

Next




You’re All Set!

But if you would like to watch this Guided Tour again, just click this button above.


Finish Guided Tour

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