I found this on the Hubble site
[caption id="attachment_339" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Galactic Centre"][/caption]
They also have much bigger versions available up to 6149 X 2902. (according to http://hubblesite.org/copyright/ it seems that I can post it here) In itself it is pretty remarkable but also provides a rather nice large and complex image for image processing. I have been playing with trying to extract the individual stars and using their intensity / connected region size to specify a Z co-ordinate. With brighter / larger being closer. If this seems odd it is because I dont have the stars real positions and its just for fun anyway :) Then using these x,y,z coordinates and running a gravity simulation on them. I know this has absolutely no scientific merit as there is no initial velocity / mass / proper coords / space is probably warped there / etc but it could look cool...
In other news:
A while back I posted about a bug in my raytracer http://www.bv2.co.uk/?p=185 and entitled it "Modern Art..." Rather surprisingly, according to google analytics, this is the single biggest search hit for the site. Which leads me to conclude there are now a lot of modern artists out there doing their thing with raytracers and GPU's - well probably not, but that would be a sure fire way for them to get off "ship B"*
Aaron has kindly offered compute time on a 3 x 260GT machine for developers in a comment on a previous post (http://www.bv2.co.uk/?p=333#comments) he didn't leave his email address public so contact me if you are interested and I will relay it to him. Aaron if you read this, let me know how people should contact you.
*just kidding - artists do have a purpose :)