Creative Ideas That Work

imageShanun Palus in Smithsonian magazine has an interesting article, Astronomers Are Doing Real Science With Space Photos They Found on Flickr. I’m not saying it is applicable. I’m sure it is not. But it demonstrates the idea that there may be new ways to study images that we have not thought of:

To get detailed images of deep space, astronomers have a couple of options, says Technology Review. They can either use a long exposure to capture one really detailed image, or stack multiple less-detailed images together. Lang and colleagues opted for the second approach. But rather than using multiple photos taken with the same telescope, they looked to the web.

The team used a new alogorithm to stack nearly 300* images of the Galaxy NGC 5907 that they found on Flickr, Bing, and Google. They did this by "[l]iterally searching for ‘NGC 5907’ and ‘NGC5907’," explains Astrobites.

Picture from Smithsonian:  An amateur photograph of galaxy NGC 5907 by Flickr user korborh. On its own it doesn’t look like much, but combined with hundreds more it can reveal new secrets about the universe. (korborh)

6 thoughts on “Creative Ideas That Work”

  1. Yes, Dan. Today astronomy is in fact more image analysis, using sophisticated software and images from various sky surveys that are publically released. In fact anyone can make research, provided that he or she has sufficient knowledge and abilities to do so.

    Look at some sites of the astronomical surveys:



    I would like to have similar database for Shroud studies!

    The great help is that in astronomy there is one standard, and very portable format of graphic/data files, that is FITS:

    It is strange to me that it is used widely only in astronomy, and not in other scientific areas.

    But perhpas this will change.

  2. Here two or three words in order to return
    to our main topic: the Shroud …

    The hope is that someone is (or : will be) able to interpret
    in an interesting way the images obtained by Hal9000.
    See also: my past notes about the book by UTET. Truly a work fairly expensive.
    It is probably very useful …
    (thus not only a surplus?).
    Where are the jurors and the sworn experts?
    — —
    If we want to apply something coming from
    the origin of our Universe,
    then I believe we can try to study the effects obtained
    using the Zero-point energy …
    Do you agree on that idea ?
    Searching into the Web I have found
    the following address :
    the title of the Event:
    “Nanoscale optics and photonics: from the zero-point energy to photovoltaics”
    by Jeremy N. Munday,
    Thomas J Watson Laboratories of Applied Physics,
    California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
    But this seems to be a sort of
    “too technological tarpaulin” …
    — —
    Instead, under another address:
    I have found the “news” (2011 … !!) about
    the :
    “Light created from a vacuum Casimir effect observed in
    superconducting circuit”
    Source :
    Swedish Research Council …
    Why the scientists have succeeded in creating light from vacuum?
    They have observed an effect first predicted over 40 years ago…
    And now …
    What is your simple idea about the Casimir effect in connection
    to the Image visible on linen sheet (the Holy Shroud) ?

  3. Don’t believe everything Smithsonian says, they are agenda-driven. Flickr may help in image processing in Shroud studies, but it will never reveal everything that is hidden up there. The more is found, the more the need arises to understand that there is a lot more searching to do. As time passes, flickr will not exist, new technologies will be used, more things will be discovered and with it will come the realisation that there will be a lot more searching to do. It will go on and on.It is part of the divine plan.

    1. Why not start with areas of research where little work has been done, e.g. relating the weave of the Shroud to particular looms and the mass of ancient textiles that are being discovered and reported all the time? One never gets the feeling that these are being monitored by by Shroud researchers who repeat again and again that piece about the stitch found on a woollen cloth from Masada. Sure, herringbone weaves in linen are known from ancient times (as they are from medieval times) ,so why not correlate the evidence and see where it leads?

  4. E.g. The Archaeological Textiles Newsletter has lots of articles about recent discoveries in the Near East.

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