Juno Perijove — Jupiter Flyby

A wonderful video by Seán Doran putting recent imagery from the Juno spacecraft to György Ligeti’s Atmosphères, famously used in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

From the original video: This computer animation uses the JunoCam images of PJ-05 as textures, and SPICE trajectory data in order to reconstruct the flyby as seen from Juno’s perspective.

Above: Edits by Seán Doran // Below: as featured on APOD

On May 19, the Juno spacecraft once again swung by Jupiter in its looping 53 day orbit around the Solar System’s ruling gas giant.

Perijove Passage

APOD: Beginning at the top, this vertical 14 frame sequence of enhanced-color JunoCam images follows the spacecraft’s rapidly changing perspective during its two hour passage. They look down on Jupiter’s north polar region, equatorial, and south polar region (bottom images). With the field-of-view shrinking, the seventh and eighth images in the sequence are close-up. Taken only 4 minutes apart above Jupiter’s equator they were captured just before the spacecraft reached perijove 6, its closest approach to Jupiter on this orbit. Final images in the sequence pick up white oval storm systems, Jupiter’s “String of Pearls”, and the south polar region from the outward bound spacecraft.

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By Jove! Spectacular new views of Jupiter

On May 19, the Juno spacecraft once again swung by Jupiter in its looping 53 day orbit around the Solar System’s ruling gas giant.

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Epoch

By Ash Thorp

Epoch is an experimental film intended to take you on a voyage through our solar system and beyond. It is a personal project orchestrated to share our enjoyment and admiration for science fiction films and literature.

To optimize your viewing experience, Epoch is best experienced with a full screen, no artificial light intrusion, ample sound speakers, and an open mind free of predictions or expectations in order to allow the film to guide you on its expedition and take you to another place entirely.

See also: Wanderers — a short film by Erik Wernquist

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Epoch: a voyage through our solar system

“Epoch is a result of merging my love of design with space and moving imagery. It is a visual exercise intended to communicate that childhood wonder and enjoyment without any commentary. By primarily utilizing visuals and music, it will allow the viewer to experience the passage through their own imagination.” — Ash Thorp

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The planet Jupiter. Observed November 1, 1880

The Public Domain Review: The French artist, astronomer and amateur entomologist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot is noted for the 7000 or so illustrations he created from his astronomical observations, the quality of which reached their zenith in the 15 exquisite pastel works which were published as ‘The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings’ in 1882.

As well as his illustrations, Trouvelot also published some 50 scientific papers, and was credited with discovering “veiled spots” on the Sun in 1875.

See also

See also: Other posts on this blog tagged ‘space’.

Craft and creativity

The pastel astronomical drawings of Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1882)

The second and rather more unfortunate legacy Trouvelot left the world was the accidental widespread introduction of the highly destructive European Gyspy moth onto North American soil. Although he reportedly notified some nearby entomologists and relevant officials no action was taken. A few decades later the species was rife. — The Public Domain Review

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Space Station Fisheye Fly-Through 4K (Ultra HD)

NASA: Join us for a fly-through of the International Space Station. Produced by Harmonic exclusively for NASA TV UHD, the footage was shot in Ultra High Definition (4K) using a fisheye lens for extreme focus and depth of field.

(via Kottke)

See also: Stunning 4K timelapse of Earth from the ISS

David Braben
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David Braben on the science behind Elite Dangerous

David Braben is one of the most influential computer game programmers of all time thanks to his groundbreaking work with the Elite series in the 80’s. While I haven’t played the new Elite Dangerous yet, I really appreciate the thought that has gone into the designs and the respect for science that is evident.

David Braben interview, part 1 & part 2

See also: Audio design in Elite Dangerous

More parts to the David Braben interview →

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Soyuz TMA-8

The first variant of the patch of the Russian-American-Brazilian crew of the Soyuz TMA-8 spaceship.

See also

Progression and regression

Retro space design: Cosmonaut mission patches

Soviet mission patches were designed for each voyage and depicted details unique to the trip, often in vibrant colors. Today, original Soviet mission patches are a rare find.

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Shape of things to come

Competition to map the first human outpost on Mars

National Geographic: Sure, NASA has plenty of scientists hard at work mapping the geology of potential Martian landing sites. But designing maps to help humans navigate, study, and survive in an alien landscape will require an entirely different set of skills—the kinds of skills that cartographers, graphic artists, and people who love maps might have.

Mars-ez-coprates chasma

One of 47 possible exploration zones on Mars that could be visited by humans.

So, the International Cartographic Association is holding a competition to come up with the best map design for astronauts who would spend about a year on the surface of Mars as part of a mission proposed for the 2030s.

“This project is on the boundary between scifi, game design, graphic arts and science, like cartography is.” Henrik Hargitai, NASA planetary scientist

Mars Exploration Zones: This concept animation shows just one of many potential concepts for how the first human landing site on Mars might evolve throughout the course of multiple human expeditions to the Red Planet over a decade or more.

See also

  • ICA Call for maps: Mars Exploration Zone Map Design Competition
  • Ordnance Survey map of Mars“The planet Mars has become the latest subject in our long line of iconic OS paper maps. The one-off map, created using NASA open data and made to a 1:4,000,000 scale, is made to see if our style of mapping has potential for future Mars missions.”
  • If the Earth were 100 pixels wide, the Moon would be 3000 pixels away, and Mars… well, you’ll have to see for yourself.
  • Canyonlands National Park texture and shaded relief map — National Park Service cartographer Tom Patterson is a master of texture and shaded relief. He’s released this gorgeous map of Canyonlands National to the public domain.
  • The first relief map — [Hans Conrad Gyger’s] map of the Zurich area took 38 years to survey and paint, and is considered as one of the most beautiful cartographic works of that time. Because of its high military importance the map was kept secret, and, unfortunately, had no influence on contemporary cartography. Not until 200 years later were shaded relief maps of comparable quality and beauty produced.
  • The flag of planet Earth — Oskar Pernefeldt’s graduation project is a flag for our world, “to remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries”.
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The Bubble Nebula

NGC 7635 aka The Bubble Nebula: Although it looks delicate, the 7 light-year diameter bubble offers evidence of violent processes at work. Above and left of the Bubble’s center is a hot, O-type star, several hundred thousand times more luminous and around 45 times more massive than the Sun. A fierce stellar wind and intense radiation from that star has blasted out the structure of glowing gas against denser material in a surrounding molecular cloud.

Zoom in →

Miscellany

Hubble Bubble

“The intriguing Bubble Nebula and associated cloud complex lie a mere 7,100 light-years away toward the boastful constellation Cassiopeia. This sharp, tantalizing view of the cosmic bubble is a composite of Hubble Space Telescope image data from 2016, released to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Hubble’s launch.” — APOD

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The Chart of Cosmic Exploration

Probe the solar system from Mercury to Pluto with this stellar schematic of space exploration! From the Luna 2 in 1959 to the DSCOVR in 2015, this color-coded chart traces the trajectories of every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor to ever slip the surly bonds of Earth’s orbit and successfully complete its mission—a truly astronomical array of over 100 exploratory instruments in all.

Available as a 39″ × 27″ poster from Pop Chart Lab.

(via Mental Floss)

See also

Miscellany

Chart of human space exploration

“Featuring hand-illustrated renderings of each spacecraft juxtaposed against the serried giants of our solar system, this galactic survey is a testament to man’s forays into the grand cosmic ballet.”

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OS Mars logo

BBC News: Ordnance Survey releases digital map of Mars surface

This is the first time that OS has produced a map of territory from another planet.

Ordnance Survey map of Mars

BBC: “It was a little hard at first to actually understand the data itself in terms of things like the elevation and the scale and so on,” said the OS cartographer behind the map, Chris Wesson. “But actually the physical process was almost identical to what was used to make an Earth map, or any OS map.”

The map itself covers roughly 10 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles) – or about 7% of the total Martian surface.

See also: Other posts on this blog tagged ‘maps’

Miscellany

Ordnance Survey map of Mars

“The planet Mars has become the latest subject in our long line of iconic OS paper maps. The one-off map, created using NASA open data and made to a 1:4,000,000 scale, is made to see if our style of mapping has potential for future Mars missions.” — Ordnance Survey

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The Verge: Rendezvous with Rama

Inspired by this fan’s tribute to Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Lightfarm Studios in Rio, Brazil created this detailed digital image. (via)

Rama and the Monolith

Behind the scenes video…

See also: Wanderersa vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens.

Craft and creativity

The Verge

‘Rendezvous with Rama’ is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth’s solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke’s bibliography. — Wikipedia

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NROL-39
Craft and creativity

The story behind the NRO’s sinister octopus logo

MuckRock reports:

When the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced the upcoming launch of their NROL-39 mission back in December 2013, they didn’t get quite the response they had hoped. That might have had something to do with the mission logo being a gigantic octopus devouring the Earth.

NROL-39

Privacy and security researcher Runa Sandvik wanted to know who approved this and why, so she filed a FOIA with the NRO for the development materials that went into the logo. A few months later, the NRO delivered. As for the question of “why a giant octopus,” the NRO offers up these two clunky paragraphs

Description of the NRO octopus logo

If that imagery comes off as somewhat forced, there’s a reason for that – an article for what appeared to be the ODNI’s internal magazine reveals the “secret origin” of the octopus…

NRO octopus patch design

That article draws from a speech made by the Mission Manager…

“It’s really neat to me. It’s kind of saying the enemy has nowhere to run.”

MuckRock: “A little sinister!!” The story behind National Reconnaissance Office’s octopus logo

See also

  • The patches of US spy satellite launchesA purple-haired sorceress holding a fireball. A three-headed dragon wrapping its claws around the world. A great raptor emerging from the flames. No, these are not characters from a Magic: The Gathering deck. They are avatars depicted on the official mission patches made for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
  • MuckRock is a collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze, and share government documents, making politics more transparent and democracies more informed.
  • What does the red swoosh in NASA’s ‘meatball’ logo mean?The distinctive red shape wasn’t just a designerly flourish…
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Project Apollo Archive
Thousands of high-resolution (3200DPI) Apollo images scanned by NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Here (in no particular order) are about sixty of my favourites picked from a quick trip through the 9,200 on offer!

See the rest of the Project Apollo Archive that caught my eye →

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Project Apollo Archive

The Project Apollo Archive serves as an online reference source and repository of digital images pertaining to the historic manned lunar landing program.

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On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.

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Miscellany

A scale model of the Solar System

On a dry lakebed in Nevada, a group of friends build the first scale model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits: a true illustration of our place in the universe.

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NASA logos
Craft and creativity

What does the red swoosh in NASA’s ‘meatball’ logo mean?

The distinctive red shape wasn’t just a designerly flourish, it was actually inspired by a model for a supersonic plane being tested in the wind tunnels at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

An Ames wind-tunnel model of a radical supersonic airplane configuration designed for efficient flight at Mach 3

From Gizmodo:

James J. Modarelli, head of the Research Reports Division at the NASA Lewis Research Center (now the NASA Glenn Research Center), was the chief designer of the NASA seal and meatball insignia. In July 1958, Modarelli attended the triennial inspection of the AAL, during which facilities and research efforts within the NACA were highlighted and discussed for invited guests in the scientific community. […] During the Ames meeting, Modarelli participated in a tour consisting of nine stops for presentations on topical research activities. At the Ames Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel, he viewed an Ames exhibit featuring a discussion by Ames researchers on current advanced supersonic aircraft technology. On display was an Ames wind-tunnel model of a radical supersonic airplane configuration designed for efficient flight at Mach 3. Featuring a cambered and twisted arrow wing with an upturned nose, the sleek model deeply impressed Modarelli as a symbol of the leading-edge aeronautical efforts of the NACA.

See also

…and other posts tagged ‘space’.

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What’s Up in the Solar System?
A diagram by Olaf Frohn, updated once a month, of active space missions traveling beyond Earth orbit.

What's Up in the Solar System diagram by Olaf Frohn (updated for July 2015)

Shape of things to come

What’s up in the Solar System?

A diagram by Olaf Frohn, updated once a month, of active space missions traveling beyond Earth orbit. Released under a generous Creative Commons licence with an archive going back to October 2010.

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Dmitry Pisanko ISS timelapse

Dmitry Pisanko downloaded 95,623 publicly available raw images from taken from the International Space Station – that’s 109 Gigabytes worth – and after some post-production in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects created this incredible 4K timelapse spectacle.

The part which took the longest was finding the appropriate soundtrack to accompany the video; Dmitry said it took “a long time, prohibitively long, almost three months”, but once he came across ‘Experience’ by Ludovico Einaudi he knew he had finally found what he was looking for.

(via DIY Photography)

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Stunning 4K timelapse of Earth from the ISS

Dmitry Pisanko’s 4K timelapse spectacular of Earth using NASA source material. One of the most stunning space films I’ve seen to be sure.

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International Flag of Planet Earth
Shape of things to come

The Flag of Planet Earth

Oskar Pernefeldt’s graduation project at Beckmans College of Design is a flag for our world, “to remind the people of Earth that we share this planet, no matter of national boundaries”.

Astronaut portrait

Centered in the flag, seven rings form a flower – a symbol of the life on Earth. The rings are linked to each other, which represents how everything on our planet, directly or indirectly, are linked. The blue field represents water which is essential for life – also as the oceans cover most of our planet’s surface. The flower’s outer rings form a circle which could be seen as a symbol of Earth as a planet and the blue surface could represent the universe.

International Flag of Planet Earth construction

Construction animation of The International Flag of Planet Earth by Johan Fredriksson


Inspired by this work, Wired has taken a look at other alternative flags for Earth as designed by visionaries and hippies

I particularly like this design by redditor ‘thefreck’ who designed an extensible flag that can be updated as humans colonise other planets…


Finally, Roman Mars gave a great TED talk recently based on an episode of his radio show/podcast 99% Invisible about flags: Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

In this surprising and hilarious talk about vexillology — the study of flags — Mars reveals the five basic principles of flag design and shows why he believes they can be applied to just about anything.

Give him a few minutes to warm up as it turns into a great talk.

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The Fermi Paradox — Where Are All The Aliens?

The universe is unbelievably big – trillions of stars and even more planets. Soo… there just has to be life out there, right? But where is it? Why don’t we see any aliens? Where are they? And more importantly, what does this tell us about our own fate in this gigantic and scary universe?

Matthew Florianz, audio designer for Elite Dangerous

Recorded looking through the roof of a slow spinning Eagle. Highlights dynamic environment ambiences for outpost, star, galaxy background radiation and planet as objects come into view. Additional audio includes ship flyby, gui notifications and ship internal cockpit ambiences.

(Game audio was gained 12db in post-production for this video, recorded in Full Range mode.)

(via Andy Kelly)

Here’s another, less subtle video about the sounds of the Elite Dangerous universe. I particularly like the space station ambience.

See also: Other Places, A series celebrating beautiful video game worlds by Andy kelly.

Earthrise restored

Direct comparison of the original photo to the restored version

Between 1966 and 1967 NASA sent five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to the Moon. Images from these spacecraft were used by mission planners to select the Apollo landing sites.

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is a project funded by NASA, SkyCorp, SpaceRef Interactive, and private individuals to digitize the original analog data tapes from the five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft that were sent to the Moon in 1966 and 1967

The first image to be successfully recovered by the project was released in November 2008. It was the first photograph of the Earth from the Moon, taken in August 1966.

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The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) is a project to digitise the original analog data tapes from the five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft that were sent to the Moon in 1966 and 1967.

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Artist rendering of New Horizon over Pluto

On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, and we will map that distant world and its moons for the first time.

The New Horizons team plans to assign names to the features on the maps of Pluto and its large moon Charon, once we have seen them in sharp detail this summer.

At the Our Pluto site you can suggest your ideas for names and vote for your favourites. The ballot closes on 7th April 2015, so get in there quickly!

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Shape of things to come

Help name the new places NASA will discover on Pluto and Charon!

At the Our Pluto site you can suggest names for the features that will soon be discovered by NASA’s New Horizons probe.

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Planetfall cover

The startling majesty – and deceptive complexity – of Michael Benson’s space art can be traced back through a process he dubs “true color.”
Time: The Cosmos In Living Color: Michael Benson’s Interstellar Imagery

Benson is a visual stylist with a gift for framing and focus. Apart from cutting-edge high-definition renderings of our solar system’s most familiar objects, he also routinely converts extra-terrestrial terrain into thrilling, abstract landscapes that seem positioned somewhere between the scientific and the avant-garde.

“At least with this particular subject matter, I usually try to give as accurate a representation as possible of what the human eye might see if we could travel to these places ourselves.”
Michael Benson — Slate: Curating the Cosmos

See also

  • Gordon Ugarkovic’s spectacular take on NASA’s Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan.
  • A Look Behind the Future — This fascinating documentary featurette looks at the production of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and also the Apollo programme, which had yet to put man on the moon.
  • Waltz Around Saturn with this video showing highlights from Cassini’s exploration of the giant planet, its magnificent rings, and fascinating family of moons.
  • …and other posts tagged ‘space
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Planetfall: New Solar System Visions

“Michael Benson is a man utterly fascinated with outer space and he has fixed his talents on creating visions that break free of the confines of Earth, enabling viewers to behold the unseen wonders of the universe.” — Time

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Anomaly

Set against the space-race canvas of the 1960’s, Anomaly is inspired by the traditional Christmas Nativity and explores, through a modern-day lens, the events of two-thousand years ago. It is a story about relationships that intertwine around an unprecedented astronomical event, as a couple navigate life’s realities at a time of unfathomable significance.


A purple-haired sorceress holding a fireball. A three-headed dragon wrapping its claws around the world. A great raptor emerging from the flames.

No, these are not characters from a Magic: The Gathering deck. They are avatars depicted on the official mission patches made for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Just as NASA creates specially designed patches for each mission into space, NRO follows that tradition for its spy satellite launches. But while NASA patches tend to feature space ships and American flags, NRO prefers wizards, Vikings, teddy bears and the all-seeing eye. With these outlandish designs, a civilian would be justified in wondering if NRO is trolling.

Unfortunately, given the agency’s extreme secrecy, it’s impossible to answer that question for sure. But based on information that has been leaked about some of the patches, it seems there may be a method to the artistic madness.

Craft and creativity

The patches of US spy satellite launches

As for their motivations, [space historian Robert] Pearlman doesn’t think they’re in it just for the lolz. “No, I don’t think they’re playing us,” he says. “If anything, it’s an internal gag. Like, how far can you take it without being reprimanded? Or maybe the patches represent jokes that cropped up in the processing of the satellites, which we’ll never know unless they’re declassified—and maybe not even then.”

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My picks of the best pics of 2014

The Guardian’s features picture editor Sarah Gilbert selects the most compelling images of 2014:

The Atlantic’s 2014: The Year in Photos, part 1, part 2, part 3:

Buzzfeed’s “74 Of The Most Amazing News Photos Of 2014”:

Time’s Top 10 Photos of 2014 and Top 100 Photos of 2014:

Wired’s The Year’s Most Awesome Photos of Space and NASA’s Best Images of Earth From Space in 2014:

For me some of the most iconic (and depressing) images came from the Mike Brown / Police brutality protests in Ferguson. Of those images, one stands out as particularly memorable:

Perhaps the icon of their fledgling movement is a dreadlocked man identified on Twitter only as @eyeFLOODpanties, who was photographed throwing a tear gas canister while wearing an American flag T-shirt and holding a bag of potato chips. The picture, taken last week by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Robert Cohen, has inspired countless T-shirts and posters. “I didn’t realize how big this was!” he tweeted after his identity was revealed and he gained thousands of Twitter followers.
Buzzfeed: Ferguson’s Angry Young Men

But the man with the chips, who was photographed during protests in Ferguson on Wednesday night, wants you to know he wasn’t throwing it at police. He was throwing it away.

“I don’t think ‘da man wit the chips’ was throwing it back at police. I think he was throwing it away from him and kids he was standing near,” said the man, who goes by the Twitter name @eyeFLOODpanties.
Mashable: ‘Da Man Wit the Chips’ in Iconic Ferguson Photo Identified

(PS: Check out the other posts on this blog tagged ‘photography’)

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The best photos of 2014

My picks of the best pics of 2014

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Saturn mosaic 2008-04-06

The images you see here are (more or less) calibrated images that were released to the Planetary Data System, they are not raw jpeg processed images that immediately appear on the mission website as they’re downlinked from the spacecraft. The downside of the PDS is the data releases are delayed about 9 months in order to give the imaging team priority over analyzing data (hey, they built the cameras!). Other than that, the PDS data allow more accurate reconstruction of colors and brightnesses over the histogram-stretched jpeg images.

I’ve put up this gallery because I was somewhat underwhelmed by the frequency the Cassini Imaging Team releases color composites. Granted, there isn’t an overwhelming number of color sets available, but even when there is a chance to do color, the team often prefers grayscale. –Gordon Ugarkovic

(via io9)

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Gordon Ugarkovic’s pictures of Saturn and her moons

Gordon Ugarkovic wanted nicer images from the Cassini mission to Saturn and the Huygens Titan probe. So he made them using nasa’s own data.

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Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist

Wanderers is a vision of humanity’s expansion into the Solar System, based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might look like, if it ever happens. The locations depicted in the film are digital recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where available.

Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea with the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds – and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there.

(via @neilcocker)

Shape of things to come

Wanderers

“In ancient greek, the planets visible in the sky were collectively called “aster planetes” which means “wandering star”. It also refers to ourselves; for hundreds of thousands of years – the wanderers of the Earth. In time I hope we take that leap off the ground and permanently become wanderers of the sky. Wanderers among the wanderers.” — Erik Wernquist

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