Gnuastro’s logo is an abstract image of a barred spiral galaxy. The galaxy is vertically cut in half: on the left side, the beauty of a contiguous galaxy image is visible. But on the right, the image gets pixelated, and we only see the parts that are within the pixels. The pixels that are more near to the center of the galaxy (which is brighter) are also larger. But as we follow the spiral arms (and get more distant from the center), the pixels get smaller (signifying less signal).
This sharp distinction between the contiguous and pixelated view of the galaxy signifies the main struggle in science: in the “real” world, objects are not pixelated or discrete and have no noise. However, when we observe nature, we are confined and constrained by the resolution of our data collection (CCD imager in this case).
On the other hand, we read English text from the left and progress towards the right. This defines the positioning of the “real” and observed halves of the galaxy: the no-noised and contiguous half (on the left) passes through our observing tools and becomes pixelated and noisy half (on the right). It is the job of scientific software like Gnuastro to help interpret the underlying mechanisms of the “real” universe from the pixelated and noisy data.
Gnuastro’s logo was designed by Marjan Akbari. The concept behind it was created after several design iterations with Mohammad Akhlaghi.