Bringing Space Images to the Blind

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,828
    A team of astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD, are attempting to transform images of space into 3D so the blind can experience them through touch.

    Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD, are experimenting with a way to bring such images to the blind in 3D. They are transforming images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope into 3D pictures using a 3D printer so the blind can explore the universe through touch.  The team says it takes “a little guesswork and artistry” to try to produce an object when you know very little about their 3D structure.  The first image they used was the bright star cluster NGC 602, which is located in an adjacent galaxy.  They used plastic to portray the stars, filament, gas, and dust in raised open circles, lines and dots where brightness corresponds with different heights.  Astronomers said these 3D images will be beneficial to not only the blind, but everyone.  They said, “imagine you could reach out and touch the stars!”