The Science Behind the Art: Visualizing Astrophysics

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An artists impression of exoplanets.
It may be an "artist's interpretation," but that artist is also an astrophysicist (image credit: NASA/Robert Hurt).

When you read a scientific story in a popular blog or magazine, many times you will see the caveat "artist interpretation" next to some of the accompanying images. This as a gross undersell of the time, effort, and most important, accuracy, that goes into developing the renders. While we don't know what a black hole or an exoplanet looks like, it is important to attempt to visualize them, and to do it as accurately as possible. This video is an interview with two people who are responsible for many of the "artist interpretations" in NASA.

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The Science Behind the Art: Visualizing Astrophysics
NASA Spitzer
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Profile picture for user Jesse Rogerson
Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. He co-developed a science communication workshop for Canadian science professionals, to instruct them in more effective methods of communicating their science. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and recently published a peer-reviewed paper in The Astrophysical Journal. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.