Press Release

Process astronomical images on your home computer just like the experts

By SpaceRef Editor
July 8, 2004
Filed under , ,
Process astronomical images on your home computer just like the experts

Anyone with a desktop computer running AdobeE PhotoshopE or Adobe
Photoshop Elements software can try their hand at crafting astronomical
images as beautiful as Hubble Space Telescope’s. A free software plug-in
being released today for Photoshop makes the treasure of archival
astronomical images and spectra from Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s
Spitzer Space Telescope, The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large
Telescope, the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton X-Ray Observatory and
many other famous telescopes accessible to home astronomy enthusiasts.

Imaging scientists at NASA, The European Space Agency and the European
Southern Observatory developed the free software, called the Photoshop
FITS Liberator. The term FITS stands for File Image Transfer Software.
This single file format archives nearly all images of stars, nebulae and
galaxies produced by major telescopes around the world. Until now this
file format has been accessible to very few people other than the
scientists themselves using highly specialized image processing tools.

The ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator will be released today and is
freely available for download from:

This is an example created using the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS
Liberator. The image of a portion of the ring galaxy AM0644-741 was made
using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Top: original black and
white images obtained through filters isolating red, green and blue
light. Middle: the separate images reassigned the primary colors red,
green and blue. Bottom: the combined full color image.

Image credit: NASA, ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Adobe and Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Electronic images and additional information are available at:

For additional information, please contact:

Lars Lindberg Christensen

Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre, Garching, Germany

(Phone: 49-0-89-3200-6306; Cellular: 49-0-173-3872-621; E-mail:

Lars Holm Nielsen

(Phone: 45-3288-6866; Cellular: 45-2215-5180; E-mail:

Robert L. Hurt

SIRTF Science Center, IPAC, Caltech, Pasadena, CA

(Phone: 626-395-1825; E-mail:

Zolt Levay

Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA

(Phone: 410-338-4907; E-mail:

The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) is operated by
the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.
(AURA), for NASA, under contract with the Goddard Space Flight
Center, Greenbelt, MD. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project
of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space
Agency (ESA).

SpaceRef staff editor.