You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Archive for August, 2007

On Holiday

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

I am currently on holiday in Doolin, Ireland am not expecting to make any posts during the week. Upon return wanderingspace will be putting a full-time effort into the Carnival of Space (see previous post).

Uranus Rings Edge On
Until then, enjoy this rare occasion of Hubble’s view of Uranus as it’s rings are seen “edge on” for the first time in 42 years. Since the rings were only discovered in the late 70’s this would be the first time we have ever had the opportunity to view them this way.

Carnival of Space for September 27

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Wanderingspace will be hosting the Carnival of Space for September 27. I am thinking that the theme will be art and space or rather, the art of space… whichever seems more appropriate whenever we see which way the content leans. It seems an appropriate theme for this site as imagery is what really drives the concept of this site with just a touch of news and articles for the part-time space enthusiast.

If anyone would like to participate in the carnival or has any ideas of what would make a great contribution to it, please leave your email and comments in the usual comment space provided on this post.

Martian Skies Will Clear Up

Monday, August 20th, 2007

Put on a happy face.

Martian Skies Will Clear Up

The robotic arm on Spirit has begun operations again. The dust storm has been breaking up and allowing sunlight to recharge its batteries enough to resume some scientific activity on the surface. Apparently things are not quite so clear yet on Opportunity’s side of the planet, but it is starting to look as if things will be back to normal soon enough for Spirit at the very least.

Wallpapers: Earth from the Space Shuttle

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

Something impressive seems to be happening on STS-118 (the Space Shuttle mission currently in orbit)… Photography.

Wallpaper: Endeavor Against Earth Horizon

Surely there are many excellent images to be had from previous Shuttle missions, but the images coming from STS-118 are really something to see. Perhaps one of the astronauts doing the EVAs (extra vehicular activities) has a degree in photography? At any rate, this site’s recent effort to give Earth it’s fair presence on this site has to take advantage of some of these fantastic images coming from NASA.

Wallpaper: Endeavor Docked

Wallpaper: The International Space Station

If you would like to see more check out the current mission’s multimedia gallery here or digg the story here.

No Planets, But You May Like It Anyway

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

My day job makes wicked cool tees for designers, nerds, geeks, centaurs, graphic artists, computer freaks, tech-dorks, fools and kings. Prices have been a cheap $15-17 for the first 3 months of operation, now we are moving the prices up to the still low price of $20-22. So get some now before its costs more!

read more | digg story

Wallpapers: Some of the Minor Moons

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

Wallpaper: Phobos Portrait
Phobos, moon of Mars.

Wallpaper: Deimos
Deimos, moon of Mars.

Wallpaper: Mimas Portrait
Mimas, moon of Saturn.

Wallpaper: Earth Portrait

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Wallpaper: Earth Portrait

You have probably seen this image of the Earth before. This was the way the Earth appeared to the final astronauts to land on the moon in 1972. It has since become the quintessential Earth portrait, used more often than any other global image of the Earth. This is probably due to its beauty but also worth mentioning the relative rarity with which we get to see a full globe image taken of the Earth in one snapshot. Only missions and probes that leave the vicinity of the Earth are able to do this and some other popular Earth portraits have been taken by Galileo, Messenger… there is the famous Earth/Moon portrait taken by Voyager 1 and of course several from various Apollo missions.

Wallpaper: Earthrise

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Wallpaper: Earthrise
Earthrise as seen from Apollo 11 as it approached its historic landing.

Wallpaper: Martian North Pole

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Wallpaper: Martian North Pole

Since the Mars Phoenix Lander has now been successfully launched, and is on its way to potentially making the first ever successful landing in the Martian polar region… Here is a great image of the region taken from the Mars Recon Orbiter’s archives.

On a side note, there was one previous mission called the Mars Polar Lander which was to touch down in the region in 1999. Communication was lost with the lander just prior to the designated arrival date and the whereabouts of the probe have been a mystery ever since. Recently the Opportunity and Spirit rovers, the old Viking Landers and even the original Pathfinder components had been clearly imaged from orbit by the Mars Global Surveyor and that raised hopes we might finally make a visual connection with the remains of the doomed lander. Initially some hopeful findings had been made, but they later panned out and as of this date MPL still remains lost.

Wallpapers: 1024×768 Set 05

Saturday, August 4th, 2007


Managed to make the more common wallpaper size 1024×768 for the 14 most recent wallpaper posts (started with set 05 images, 1-4 to come). Download zip file here. Some were not produced as they just didn’t translate so easily into the format. However, the opposite is true in some cases such as for this image of the Martian south pole. Its resolution was hopelessly low for the larger landscape format, so now with the smaller size it was possible (just barely) to get it posted as a wallpaper.

Wallpaper 1024x786: Martian South Pole

Included in the set for download are the images pictured at the top and for the sake of google search, here they are listed out:

  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of CALLISTO at half view, moon of JUPITER
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of EARTH from APOLLO landing site
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper portrait of EUROPA, moon of JUPITER
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper portrait of JUPITER
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of MARS region of DEUTERONILUS (not shown)
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of MARS surface at HUSBAND HILL
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper portrait of MARS
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper portrait of PHOEBE, moon of SATURN
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper portrait of RHEA, moon of SATURN
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of SATURN, crescent view (not shown)
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of SATURN from above the NORTHERN POLE
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of SATURN globe
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper of SPACE WALK
  • 1024×768 Wallpaper portrait of TETHYS, moon of SATURN

Saturn and Titan Animation by U. Gordan

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Saturn Titan Animation

Officially this site’s most mentioned personality, Gordan Ugarkovic does it again with a series of color images combined to show an hour at Saturn. In addition to this being a gorgeous animation, the very image of Saturn and Titan in the same frame has thus far, in and of itself, been quite a rarity in the Cassini mission. The other moon visible in the shot is Dione.

Original image appears on the unmannedspaceflight forum.

Phoenix Lander Ready for Launch

Friday, August 3rd, 2007

Martian Pole

Phoenix Lander ready for launch tomorrow. Its destination is the Martian Arctic Pole, hopefully realizing the hopes of the lost Mars Polar Lander. See website for news.

Cassini to Go Geyser Diving?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Recent Image of Plumes at Enceladus

There has been a plan for Cassini to make a close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus early next year. The plan was that while Cassini is doing its usual orbiting of Saturn, that it would be tweaked to come within about 1000 km of the small icy moon and make observations. But that plan may be revised soon to include what would likely be the most dangerous maneuver Cassini has made since its orbit insertion and passing through the ring-plane.

The new plan is for Cassini to pass within 30 km of the surface of Enceladus… which is in itself an impressive move. What makes this even more daring is that the path should take the probe straight through one of the moon’s many geysers in its southern region. To survive what will likely be a barrage to tiny particles coming from these plumes, the cameras will be facing away from this activity as the body of Cassini itself (which is fortified with a protective shell) should take the brunt of the damage. After this most dangerous phase the cameras will capture details of the geysers and Enceladus itself as the probe moves safely away from the body. Additionally, this close plunge should also allow other instruments on Cassini to get a good scent of these materials as well and should be able to accurately describe what exactly is coming out of the geysers.

Should this plan be adopted, the event is scheduled for March of 2008.