Chris Hetlage’s astrophotography is nothing short of stunning. His deep sky images of distant nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies will have you believing the he has a direct downlink from the Hubble Space Telescope. The truth is, he uses his own equipment out of a private observatory located in Georgia.
For this first set of images, we highlight the imagery that Hetlage’s Imaging the Cosmos website has produced of objects far out in the universe. Some of the subject matter in these images might be familiar to browsers of astronomy books worldwide, others might be totally new. In either case, the pictures produced by Imaging the Cosmos highlight the capabilities that even NASA has noticed.
On June 12 of this year, NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day selected one of Hetlage’s images for their featured photo. That picture will be part of tomorrow’s lineup of solar imagery.
Jason Rhian gained Bachelor’s Degrees in journalism and public relations from the University of South Florida and spent countless hours volunteering with NASA and other space groups to gain experience. He has interned with NASA twice. Once at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) press site in 2007 and with NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) in 2009.
Jason has worked with a number of space-related groups and events - including Google Lunar X-PRIZE team Omega Envoy, the 2009 International Space Development Conference and NASA's KSC press site. Jason has covered over 30 launches. His work has been published in Aviation Week & Space Technology, The Spaceport News and online with MSNBC.com, Space.com, SpaceRef.com, Spacevidcast.com, Universe Today and other websites.
Whereas some journalists are comfortable repurposing a press release and using imagery provided to them by the public relations arm of that organization – Jason has made a habit of getting behind the pre-approved announcements to cover the events first hand. He covered President Obama’s remarks live from Kennedy Space Center in April 2010. Jason also flew out to Utah to cover the test fire of Alliant Techsystems second test of the company’s Development Motor-2 (DM-2). More recently, he sat in the backseat of history, flying on NASA’s Shuttle Training Aircraft with STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson as he trained for the last mission of the space shuttle era during the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT).