FITS for Education
So far the production of beautiful astronomical images from raw science data has been the privilege of a small elite group. Now, the FITS Liberator brings this possibility to the public and thereby also to the students in our schools.
This presents a unique possibility/option to work with a subject that bridges the humanities and natural sciences. When assigning colours to the different exposures of an astronomical object there are numerous decisions to make. It is necessary to consider issues as diverse as the working of the human eye, the atomic processes that produce the radiation seen and simply aesthetics.
The world is connected, and the general development of education is to emphasize this interconnectedness of the different subject matters.
To aid the teachers in their work with the astronomical data we have produced a small guide to image processing and a step by step guide to the NOIRLab/IPAC/ESA/STScI/CfA FITS Liberator and the following image processing in Photoshop. If necessary you may also consult the FITS Liberator Documentation.
For textbook material on the astronomical processes that create the objects, the electromagnetic spectrum and the atomic physics that explain the discrete spectrum of i.e. many nebulae, we know the teachers are able to find this material in other places :-)