Manipulating NASA Astronomy Data with Pencil Code: A Media Computation Hour of Code Project #CSedWeek

December 11, 2014 at 1:08 pm Leave a comment


I got this email from Matthew Dawson at Google, and was delighted and amazed.  Check out the image before.  They’re using Pencil Code to walk the pixels of an image, with optical, IR, and X-Ray data.  The loop maps the IR and X-Ray data into colors in order to create a visualization.  What a terrifically cool MediaComp Hour of Code project!  I’m sharing this email with his permission:

I wanted to share a media computation type Hour of Code project that I helped create. I’m a big fan of everything you’ve done to advance the use of media in computer science, and thought that you might like to see this application.

It was created by myself, David Bau a Googler who created Pencil Code (an IDE that can transition between blocks and text), and astronomers at NASA and the ASA. In it, students get to create image mashups by tinkering with the R,G,B values of two images. They then get to apply those concepts to recolor real supernova images of various wavelengths to generate colorful astronomical images. Kim Arcand, who voices the last three videos, is the Visualization Lead for NASA’s Chandra X-Ray telescope, and this application of CS very closely matches the types of things she does each day.

This activity was created by volunteers August Muench, astronomer for the American Astronomical Society, Kim Arcand, visualization lead for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, and Sydney Pickens and Matthew Dawson, both computer science educators with Google CS First

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Half of STEM graduates in US went to community college at some point #CSEdWeek The by-gender vs by-discipline view of women in STEM from Valerie Barr #CSEdWeek

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