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June 6, 2011 - Color My World

Color My World Many of us take color photographs for granted, but prior to 1861 only black and white images existed. That year, Scottish physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who was born 180 years ago next week, devised a method of creating color photos by combining three separate black and white images taken with red, green, and blue filters. This tri-color photography method is still in use today, especially in astronomical imaging, where the “film” is really a monochrome CCD imager, and different filters are placed in front of it for each exposure. This image of a portion of NGC 7000 was made by combining several monochrome images filtered for different wavelengths of light. The resulting images were each assigned a color (red, green, or blue) and combined into the final image.

Image credit: Antonio Fernandez

Weekly Calendar

June 6-12, 2011

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 6

1932: Dave Scott born
1971: Soyuz 11 launched, first crew to occupy Salyut 1 space station
1983: Venera 16 launched

Moon phase Tuesday 7

1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched
2011Soyuz TMA-02M launched carrying ISS Expedition 28/29 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 8

First Quarter Moon 10:11 PM ET

1625: Giovanni Cassini born
1959: First X-15 unpowered glide test
1975: Venera 9 launched
2007: STS-117 Atlantis launched

Moon phase Thursday 9

1812: Johann Gottfried Galle born

Moon phase Friday 10

Saturn 8° north of Moon

1985: Vega 1 deploys lander and balloon on Venus
2003: Mars rover Spirit launched

Moon phase Saturday 11

Moon at perigee

2008: Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope launched

Moon phase Sunday 12

Whit Sunday—Pentecost

Mercury in superior conjunction

1967: Venera 4 launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.