Today's college students have grown up with NASA images shaping their idea of what space "looks like". However, these spectacular images are a lot more than just pictures of space.

Telescope cameras are tailored to detect signals ranging from radio waves to gamma rays, making images that differ significantly from ordinary photographs.

Using mathematics and physics, scientists "read" these images to answer questions about the structure and evolution of the universe.

Here, students in Kathryn Schaffer's cosmology class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago explain and interpret selected NASA images, encouraging you to view them in new ways.


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Article: How Astronomers Use Color

Make Your Own Colored Hubble Images

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Web Version of Chicago Artist Ken Fandell's Video Work: "The Most Important Picture Ever" and a Description.

Science Zines: A Creative Take on Science Communication

Each NASA image below has been selected for study by a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. If you click on the image, you can read a detailed description by the student, as well as an essay digging deeper into its making and meaning.