B term brings to the Class of 1970 Café Gallery, Catching the Light : Astrophotographs by Destin Heilman, Assistant Teaching Professor in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.
Prof. Heilman has been fascinated by the sky for many years. Although his early attempts to see the moon and stars were frustrated by a lack of equipment that would bring them close enough, his interest in space exploration grew, spurred on by sci-fi series like Star Trek and explorations by NASA and related organizations. Four years ago his wife bought him a computerized telescope that could automatically find objects and track the sky. He soon realized that if he used a camera with the telescope, he could get images that revealed more than his eyes could see. The camera also let him merge his knowledge of and passion for chemistry with astronomy. Through a complicated series of steps involving two cameras, filtering and separation of different wavelengths of light, and compositing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur, Heilman creates awesome images like those in Catching the Light.
Prof. Heilman says about the exhibition: “Most of the targets in this gallery exist within our own galaxy. They are the wondrous nebulae that showcase the stunning birth and death of stars just a few thousand light years away. Go further and you’ll escape our galaxy and trade nebulosity for the vastness of deep space. We then find floating among us, yet millions of light years away, the myriad galaxies that decorate our Universe. I wonder what the odds are of an alien astronomer snapping a picture of our galaxy right now! Smile… the odds are pretty good. Keep looking up!”