All posts by Greg

Russ Croman’s StarXTerminator Program and the JWST Images

I recently downloaded the free evaluation copy of Russ Croman’s StarXTerminator program – which basically does what it says on the tin. I also saw a recent James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on APOD and was once again flabbergasted at the absolutely dreadful EIGHT diffraction spikes around bright stars. So I thought I would try an experiment and see what StarXTerminator would do on a JWST image. I was expecting StarXTerminator to do a good job on removing stars but I was expecting it to leave a lot of the diffraction spikes behind. In the images above you can actually see what happened. StarXTerminator did an absolutely superb job on removing both stars AND diffraction spikes. A quick run of “Despeckle” in Photoshop really cleaned up the background and the “Spot Healing Brush” tool cleared up a couple of stragglers. I really think Russ should be in serious discussion with NASA on how to clean up their JWST images.

Spooky Action at a Distance

This is what Einstein was referring to of course when he came up with the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox for Quantum Mechanics. I have written about this subject before and I even researched it for most of a Sabattical without coming to any definite conclusions. It still didn’t make sense to me. Then, maybe about a year ago, someone made a throwaway remark that made the whole thing crystal clear. The initial pair of particles created at time t=0 can be described by A SINGLE WAVEFUNCTION! And there is all you need to know. If the initial state can be described by a single wavefunction then it is absolutely no surprise whatsoever that if you measure a property of one of the particles at a later time t, then you can infer the same property for the other particle at the same time. There is no magic. There is no spooky action at a distance. Instead there is a single wavefunction which completely describes the situation. Now why this isn’t mentioned everytime there’s a discussion on the EPR paradox is completely beyond me.

An Exposure Time Difference of 1.6 x 10^12

In my different forms of photography there can be a vast range of exposure times used. For instance, in the solargraph image above the total exposure time is 6 months, or around 16 million seconds (16 x 10^6 seconds). The colliding water drop image, taken using an ultra high speed flashgun, has an exposure time of just 10 microseconds or 1 x 10^-5 seconds. The total range of exposure times from the shortest I do to the longest is therefore an almost unimaginable factor of 1.6 x 10^12!