The images used to produce these 18 Bicentennial Images from IU Astronomy were obtained by IU Professor Liese van Zee with the WIYN 0.9m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory just outside of Tucson, Arizona.
These images were inspired as part of the celebration of IU's Bicentennial in part because IU alum, and longtime Astronomy Department Chair, Frank Edmondson was instrumental in the development of Kitt Peak as an astronomical site and in the founding of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories. At his initiative, Indiana University was one of the seven founding members of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). AURA facilities are open to all astronomers based on the merits of a proposal, not on the institutional affiliation of the proposer.
The 0.9m telescope was the first telescope built for these national facilties. IU graduate student Arlo Landolt was the first visiting observer on the telescope. The creation of national facilities changed the landscape of observational astronomy in the United States and has enabled faculty at all institutions to engage in frontier research.
These images were obtained using several broad and narrow band color filters during observing runs in 2016 and 2017. Broad band filters include ultraviolet, blue, green, and red filters, and narrow band filters isolating light emitted by specific atomic elements that glow in heated gas include hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen filters.
After the images were processed to align features and remove artifacts, images through different filters were combined to produce the color images displayed here.
This project was partially funded by the Daniel Kirkwood Chair, the Hollis and Grete Johnson Astronomy Endowment funds, and from the Office of the Bicentennial.
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