Astronomical Superresolution Captures Planets From Another Star

In my last post about superresolution, I took Toshiba to the woodshed for claiming superresolution with their SRT, and cited a few contemporaneous examples of the Real Thing.

Here’s a more recent example:



And for the “executive summary”:

They managed to tease these pictures out of long-since taken Hubble photos (11 years ago!), using just “math”:


A great deal of achieving real superresolution has to do with modeling the optical properties of the system that captures the images. If you’re not utilizing a model of the capture/transmission system, “image superresolution” becomes “image bandwidth synthesis”. The results might look pretty, but they’re not necessarily accurate. If you’re doing forensics, or scientific discovery, or proving a hypothesis, REALITY MATTERS.

I’m not knocking SRT, I’d rather watch a DVD played with Toshiba SRT, than anything else (except BluRay!).

But we must distinguish a picture that looks pretty, between one that is scientifically, measurably, provably, accurate.  A pretty, enhanced, but inaccurate picture should not be used as evidence to convict a criminal — or to make any other scientific assertion.

In this case, their model includes a blur/point-spread-function that accommodates multiple sources for the images — while accommodating the subtraction of glare from the guide star (the one that the three planets orbit) in a way that increases the sensitivity by 10x.  It assumes a Poisson distribution for the noise, which typical for astronomical images — and this is incorporated into the model.

THAT’S superresolution.

It makes you wonder what other details will be teased out from historical photos and videos…


~ by opticalflow on March 2, 2009.

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