Friday, October 19, 2007

Top Ten Most Important Astronomical Images

No Quarked this week due to midterms, but I had an article in the Journal of Young Investigators this month that I don't think I've mentioned. So who wants to read a run-down on the top ten most important astronomical images? As chosen by my own personal authority, of course, because everyone knows these lists are just as authoritative as the opinion of the person who writes them.

This article appeared a few weeks earlier this month, but I haven't posted it here until now because I've had some problems with it. For obvious reasons, it was rather important that the right images go with the right pieces of text for the article, but the graphics guy (in the trend of graphics guys everywhere) took the liberty to find some "more interesting" images when he happened to not think one of mine as cool enough. Now for a few of these it worked out alright, but the graphics guy completely messed up when it came to extrasolar planets. The image I chose (shown to the left) was considered "too boring," so he substituted in an artist's rendition instead!

I find this to be an interesting premise, you see. I mean, if I were going for the "prettiest" images then yes, the extrasolar one probably doesn't cut it, but images that are the most aesthetically pleasing rarely translate into the ones that contribute to real science. (I'd expound on this point more, but I already did in said article so I won't regurgitate.) And while I like my editor and think JYI is a nifty organization and laud their goal to produce an undergraduate science publication, I've noticed that it's really, really hard to get mistakes corrected once they're printed. You know how it is in the college world- everyone has ten million different things going on so it's kind of hard to convince anybody to go back to a job that's already "done." Particularly when no one's getting paid to do anything and it's midterms month.

I could probably go on about this but I don't think it'll help much. Besides which I have other things to do- it's the last day before fall break and I have a plane to catch to New England a few hours, and lots to do before then! So see you guys next week; I should have lots of pretty "New England in the fall" pictures to share.