[NOTE: This blog post was originally written by John Stoke in 2004 and posted to the HubbleSource.org website. We have added it to the Illuminated Universe blog for archival purposes.]
Humanity’s greatest telescope has met the largest of movie screens.
Installation of the ACS instrument during Hubble Servicing Mission 3B
In early 2002, astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia installed a new visible-light camera aboard Hubble, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), as part of Hubble Servicing Mission 3B. ACS increased the telescope’s efficiency by a factor of ten, thanks to a new generation of super-sensitive detectors that deliver 4K x 4K images.
As the first ACS high-resolution images arrived we began to ponder just how to display them. Even a single ACS image contains an IMAX-screen worth of pixels, and we had plans to produce some truly immense images with Hubble by making mosaics of ACS images.
Comparative pixel resolutions for television, Hubble, and IMAX film.
IMAX? A well-known brand of large-format movie equipment and installations, IMAX uses 70mm film traveling at nearly four feet per second through an enormous projector to fill gargantuan screens with high-fidelity images. As shown here, the image resolution of this 15-sprocket-per-frame 70mm film ...