The satellite 'images' space as it swings around to collect data on specific events - gamma bursts, uv clouds, etc. These images are of the same objects but we might think of them as 'adumbrations' in the Husserlian sense; as a stream of perspectival views, each unique and distinct from the last.
The normal activity, for scientists and astomomers is to mosaic these images into large views of the universe. We see them often on popular science shows, in periodicals and on posters - beautifully rendered and exquisitely coloured. Under the hood, this process is a daunting combination of mathematics formulas and extensible data formats and where trignometry and matrix multiplication are the simple parts.
Semiconductor needed the raw images, rotated and aligned but not combined for a new commission at the ArtScience Museum, Singapore.
Fits and Starts
Finetuned spent a good while investigating the astronomy community's preferred FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) format; the standard definition is 106 pages, before dipping our toes in a wide range of software, mostly produced by NASA for specific missions and available only in source code.
After quite a number of days compiling and testing a wide range of software, we slowly built up a reliable process to generate the required raw files using a decent Linux distro, various pieces of NASA software and a collection of bash scripts to manage the process.
As so often happens, the end result doesn't necessarily reflect the amount of effort it takes to arrive there. We're really looking forward to seeing the results of our labours take shape in Semiconductor's new work 'Catching the Light', in late November 2014.