Tactile Astronomy > Learn more

Tactile Astronomy supports our efforts to bring the wonders of the universe to everyone, regardless of their visual ability. This section of Amazing Space features a library of many of the latest Hubble images designed to be downloaded and printed on microcapsule paper, then "puffed" in a thermal fuser.

These specially prepared PDFs include Braille headings and embedded text for screen readers that describes the featured celestial object and what astronomers are learning about it.

A large-print text-only PDF is also provided with each image. This file has been optimized for low-vision users and screen readers.

Tactile Astronomy also includes a "special projects" section that currently features the limited-edition Tactile Carina Nebula booklet, a 17-by-11–inch color image embossed with lines, slashes, and other markings that correspond to objects within the nebula’s fantasy landscape of bubbles, valleys, mountains, and pillars.

If you have questions about our tactile Hubble images or the Tactile Astronomy site, please send an e-mail to: tactile@stsci.edu


Using the screen reader
Adobe Reader can be used to read any of this section's PDFs aloud, including the image files. In Reader's menu bar, go to "View / Read Out Loud" and choose "Activate Read Out Loud." Then go to "View / Read Out Loud" again, and choose "Read This Page Only" or "Read to End of Document."
Using "Reflow"
Adobe Reader's reflow capabilities ("View / Zoom / Reflow") can be used to make the text-only files reflow to fit any window width, thus eliminating horizontal scrolling while reading.