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 March, 2008

3 More By GU or Saturnati XV

Monday, March 31st, 2008

3 intensely nice new views of Saturn by Gordan Ugarkovic.

Saturn by Gordan Ugarkovic

Saturn by Gordan Ugarkovic

Saturn by Gordan Ugarkovic

Be sure to click for the hi-res view of this one. Enceladus hangs sharply in front of saturn – doesn’t even look real. I assume the second moon there is Mimas, but notice you can even make out a 3rd moon (Pandora) lodged in Saturn’s rings, right inside the hairline F-Ring.

Titan’s Unnamed Sea

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Tim Minton’s Map of the New World

Map-makers of the world rejoice! For the first time since the days of Columbus, you now have the opportunity to map out the details of undiscovered shores! Tim Minton has a passion for map-making, but his pursuits usually involve Earthly destinations – how could he resist the new Lakes and Seas of another world? Check out his flickr page for other maps and in particular his Titan set.

Saturnati XIV

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Saturnati XIV

Its Titan up top and Tethys below.

weRobot at Chop Shop

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008


Okay, so this is not space related, but I am so excited to finally have my 51 robots design up and for sale at See the Men’s style or Women’s.

Mars: Promethei Planum

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Promethei Planum
Promethei Planum, an area seasonally covered with a more than 3500 m thick layer of ice in the martian south polar region taken by ESA’s Mars Express mission.

Earth and Moon Seen from Mars

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Earth and Moon from MRO in Mars Orbit

This is an image of Earth and the moon acquired by the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which is in orbit around Mars. The distance from MRO to Earth at the time the image was taken was 142 million kilometers (88 million miles). Hard to image such details could be drawn out in an image taken from such a distance as that.

A similar image of Jupiter was also acquired by MRO some months ago.

Io Horizon Composite

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Nunes and Perry Io Composite

Another nice find on the forums… This composite by Ricardo Nunes combines hi-resolution and low-resolution images processed by Jason Perry to create this surreal horizon view of the Tvashtar Catena caldera on Io. Most of the hi-res data in the image is in the center with the low-res information on the outer parts of the image – thus falsely creating a depth-of-field which gives the image a real snapshot kind of feeling.

See here for a wallpaper of this image.

Plume Diving: The Departure

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

The 03.12.08 Enceladus Approach

Cassini moves away from it’s risky encounter at Enceladus… This came out so cool that it looks fake.

IMAGE NOTE: 3 frames of this 13 frame animation were “faked” in that adjacent frames were used to fill in gaps. The size and position of Enceladus was simply adjusted on these frames to create a smoother transition where needed. Additionally, the last 3 frames had stars added to the background for consistency.

Enceladus Unlit by the Sun

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Enceladus Unlit by the Sun

The almost surreal nature of this image is due to this: Nothing in this image is sunlit. According to Emily Lackdawalla’s Planetary Society blog, the lower brightest area is lit by the rings of Saturn, by way of reflection off of Saturn’s disc. The right hand side is comparatively low-lit by the moons Tethys and Dione and the left side is also low-lit by the moon Rhea. To the human eye, this scene would appear far darker than seen here and is a testament to the sensitivity of Cassini’s cameras in low-lit situations. If the sun-lit side of Enceladus presented itself here, it would be a complete white out devoid of any details.

My best guess for all the dots is that some are actually star light, while others are anomalies in the imaging process… for instance, the specks in the image that appear over the disc itself are surely noise.

Enceladus Flyby: A Quick Mosaic

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Made partly from the image from the previous post. Click to see it high resolution.

Enceladus March 12, 2008 - Mosaic #1

There is word also that some of the instruments failed to relay data. This would be disappointing to say the least. Considering the risk taken to get this close to the plumes… it would be sad to not have the data they were looking for.

An Early Look

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Enceladus March 12, 2008

Much more to come… here is one that immediately popped out.

It’s Go Time Cassini!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

It’s Go Time Enceladus!

Tonight is the night! Image was taken 2 days before Cassini’s dive through the fountains of Enceladus.

Saturnati XIII

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Saturn from the JPL official site, 031008

Cassini Goes Plume Diving in 2 Days

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Cassini Goes Plume Diving in 2 Days

The flyby of Enceladus that will take Cassini directly through the plumes is only 2 days off. Could be one of the best events of the year.

A Grid of Rings

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Ring Grid

Looking at the 500 most recent raw images from Cassini, one of the pages was filled with nothing but images of the rings at various angles and locations. The tiling of these images on one page was unintentionally interesting and I thought we would repeat a more intentional version here with those same images.