Josh Lake Wins Hubble Astrophotography Contest
St. Davids, PA, August 27, 2012: Eastern University 2001 graduate Josh Lake has won both the Jury and People's Choice prizes for the international Hubble's Hidden Treasures contest, an astrophotography processing competition.
Josh submitted a stunning image of NGC 1763, part of the N11 star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud. ESA/Hubble had previously published an image of an area just adjacent to this (heic1011), based on observations by the same team. Josh took a different approach, producing a bold two-color image which contrasts the light from glowing hydrogen and nitrogen. The image is not in natural colours - hydrogen and nitrogen produce almost indistinguishable shades of red light that our eyes would struggle to tell apart - but Josh’s processing separates them out into blue and red, dramatically highlighting the structure of the region.
Josh Lake is a physics and astronomy teacher (and volleyball coach) at Pomfret School in Connecticut, where he is also the director of the Olmsted Observatory. Josh earned his BA at Eastern University and says, "I attribute my inspiration and success in large part to Dr. David Bradstreet and Eastern's astronomy program."
Dr. David Bradstreet says, "Josh was an Astronomy major who worked extensively with me during his time at Eastern, working primarily in our Observatory on both research projects on eclipsing binary stars as well as numerous graphics projects for both the Observatory and Planetarium. Josh is an exceptionally well-rounded scholar, having expertise both in the sciences and the graphic arts. He is perfectly suited for his current position as astronomy and physics instructor. His students are most fortunate to have him as their teacher!"
After Eastern, Josh went on to earn his MS in Learning and Knowledge Management Systems at Rochester Institute of Technology. He joined the Pomfret faculty in 2002. Since then, he helped install a state-of-the-art telescope in the observatory, making Pomfret one of the top astronomical sites in the area. Josh is known for his imaginative professional development pursuits, including a roller coaster tour of the United States to gather data and video for his physics classes; a skydiving jump to record the effect of acceleration on the human body; and taking photos of galaxies and nebulae in a remote New Mexico observatory.