A is for Astronomy...A is for Art
Astronomy is a science based on light. Astronomers gather the light that comes from distant objects to study it. They may gather that light with telescopes on Earth, telescopes in space, or by sending probes to distant planets to take pictures of those worlds, pictures that are sent back to Earth in bits and bytes.
But that information, that light needs to be processed in some way in order to be able to understand it. One way of processing the light is to produce visual images. That processing not only produces beautiful images, but images full of scientific information.
This STEAM project helps students understand the importance of art in science. They take raw data images from the Juno probe, available on NASA’s website, and using the raw camera filter in Photoshop, adjust the image to bring out visual details of one feature visible in Jupiter’s atmosphere. Then they can compare that feature to similar features in Earth’s atmosphere to gain a greater understanding of what they are seeing. While this activity is designed for a descriptive astronomy class, it could be used in any physical science class; for example, in chemistry using the colors in the images to determine the chemical make-up of the Jovian atmosphere, or a physics class to examine the turbulence of the Coriolis effect.