Hubble’s Hidden Treasures 2012 Image Processing Contest

How it works:

To enter the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Image Processing Contest, download the scientific data from the archive. Process the image using professional astronomical image software. Then upload your work to the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Image Processing Contest Flickr group There’s no limit to how many times you can enter, but remember that only images which have not yet been published on the gallery can be entered into the competition.

Competition news will be posted on our Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout the contest. You can tweet about the competition using the hashtag #Hubbletreasures.

The competition closes on 31 May 2012 at 23.59 CET.

How it really works:

If you have found some nice data, and want the additional challenge of processing it fully yourself, why not enter the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Image Processing Contest? Here, you will be using the same powerful software that image processing experts at ESA and NASA use to prepare images for publication.

Data downloaded from the Hubble Legacy Archive are stored in FITS format. It is therefore critical that you know how to do the astronomical processing for these files, and that you have software than can do it. If you don't know about this file format or are not interested in finding out more, this competition is probably not for you — for an easier way of exploring the world of Hubble data, try the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Contest instead.

You can process the data in any way you want, and combine them as you wish. The end or intermediate results can be enhanced using any technique. The only thing that is strictly forbidden is to paint on the image. Only tiny cosmetic defects can be painted over, such as cosmic rays, bad pixels, satellite trails, etc.

You may fill gaps between detectors or pointings with data from ground-based telescopes, providing you clearly state what data you have used. You must not simply clone or copy to fill these.

If you’re stuck, or just want to chat, the Hubble Image Processors Facebook group, run by a group of NASA astronomers, is a great place to get help and advice on image processing questions.

Once you’re done, upload it to the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Image Processing Contest Flickr page. Make sure you include the name of the object and a list of the datasets you have used.

Further information:


  • First prize: Apple iPad, laminated wall print, Hubble posters, autograph by astronaut John Grunsfeld (veteran of three Hubble repair missions), Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Second prize: Aluminium mounted Hubble print, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Third prize: Hubble poster, Eyes on the Skies book and DVD
  • Fourth to tenth prizes: Eyes on the Skies DVD, Hubble poster
  • People’s choice (by public vote): Aluminium mounted Hubble print

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