Zolt Levay: The Coolest Job in the World
Well, technically, Zoltan Levay has the coolest job out of this world. Mr. Levay is the Imaging Resource Lead at the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach. What does that mean? He makes the images that the media uses to show off the Hubble Space Telescope's discoveries.
He helps create HubbleSite, a fantastic resource for fans of the telescope and its discoveries. And on his own site he describes a little bit about his process. If you really want to get a feel for what it takes to create this kind of imagery, take a look at Making HST Pictures: Examples and Illustrations. There's a virtually infinite amount of interesting things to learn about the process, and most of the tools for working with this kind of data are free, except for Photoshop.
But more importantly, Zolt Levay gets to spend his time at work making things like this image of the Helix Nebula: