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Nasa Unveils Cosmic Images Book in Braille for Blind Readers

January 15, 2008

NASA Release: 08-007

Nasa Unveils Cosmic Images in Braille for Blind Readers
Image Credit: NASA
More resources for Touch the Invisible Sky

BALTIMORE - At a Tuesday ceremony at the National Federation of the Blind, NASA unveiled a new book that brings majestic images taken by its Great Observatories to the fingertips of the blind.

"Touch the Invisible Sky" is a 60-page book with color images of nebulae, stars, galaxies and some of the telescopes that captured the original pictures. Each image is embossed with lines, bumps and other textures. These raised patterns translate colors, shapes and other intricate details of the cosmic objects, allowing visually impaired people to experience them. Braille and large-print descriptions accompany each of the book's 28 photographs, making the book's design accessible to readers of all visual abilities.

The book contains spectacular images from the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope and powerful ground-based telescopes. The celestial objects are presented as they appear through visible-light telescopes and different spectral regions invisible to the naked eye, from radio to infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-ray light.

The book introduces the concept of light and the spectrum and explains how the different observatories complement each others' findings. Readers take a cosmic journey beginning with images of the sun, and travel out into the galaxy to visit relics of exploding and dying stars, as well as the Whirlpool galaxy and colliding Antennae galaxies.

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