NASA enjoys a well-deserved reputation for creating gorgeous visualizations, simulations, and artist's conceptions of astronomical data and concepts. But which ones are which?
The divisions between these types of images are not as stark as you might think. Data gathered on channels other than visible light have no true color. Instead, color must be assigned when creating an image comprehensible to human eyes. And naturally, the visualization experts strive to assign an attractive palette.
Other visualizations, as with the solar system formation simulations shown in this week's visual, are made from data that, at certain points during the visualization, may not have sufficiently high resolution to create a smooth and attractive simulation. Watch the video to find out what the visualization experts from the US National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) decided to do about that, and how.