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, 2009

Moon Restored

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project has been working to restore historic images from the Lunar Orbiter missions which were launched during the years 1966 and 67. These images have been remastered from the original data sets with today’s computing technology resulting in not only reducing the noise, but brought out details that were not possible with the technology available when they were taken. The above image is just a section of the original (seen below) and is also a work-in-progress so you will still notice the striping and other anomalies.

Original Lunar Orbiter Image

Although, as a graphic designer I have to say the original has it’s charm too. I like the distortion, noise and various odd anomalies of these historic missions so much that it led to my making the Smallsteps series of wallpapers last year. Maybe this new LOIRP image needs to be added to that collection… but I would probably stick with the original for the effect. I love the work they are doing, but I also like that you can see the history in these old crusty images too.

And My Other Blog Is…

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The Chopping Block has finally entered the blogosphere. I am Tom on there. I am represented by a robot and write much sillier stuff there than I do here. See blog.choppingblock.com now and forever.

Ted Stryk’s Triton Redux

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Planetary Blog has a nice review of Voyager 2’s flyby of Neptune’s moon Triton. That was 1989 and sadly, there is no way we will be seeing any new Triton images for at least 20 years as no missions are currently approved. There is a concept mission being considered for a New Frontiers class probe which is where we even get the number 20 from, but if that mission is not approved… who knows.

Ted Stryk has been re-working the old Voyager mission images at Triton and the results are shockingly sharp and high resolution. Ted’s work is also used on this “portrait” image of Triton, but this image shown above is another view and is comparatively massive in size for the Voyager Uranus/Neptune encounters.

Pluto, “Weak”.

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Not that I am for Pluto inclusion in the planetary family… I just keep running into these references to the Plutonian contreversy.

More Fun with Landers from Orbit

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Better than the previous images seen here and here. this is a more recent view of the now defunct Mars Phoenix lander. Some nice detail in this considering how far away in orbit the MRO was when it was taken.

Pluto Fan Club

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

A nice page on the Oliebollen site that offers a “Pluto Fan Club” to kids and adults who care enough to step up to bat for the little dwarf. The protest culminates in a Facebook page where you can join other dissenting opinions online. There is also this children’s activity for a Solar System mobile which I have seen first-hand.

Deimos in Sight

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Nice full color image of Deimos, Mars’s smaller of two moons. There is a second one as well if you go to the NASA site and check out the hi-res link. I would say that this is now the definitive best image yet aquired of this body to date.

Search for Earth Sized Planets: Begin

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Its not that we haven’t been trying, but for all our effort… the best we have found lurking among the stars comparable to our home is a planet at about 5x Earth sizes. When you consider the advances and methods of detection, one can almost assume that Earth-like extra planet discoveries will be made from ground-based observations very soon. With this week’s successful Kepler launch, the assumption may be that (if they are out there) we might be talking about finding many Earth-like planets beyond our Solar System fairly soon. Hopefully, the job of finding extra-solar planets is about to get really interesting.

Click the image for a hi-res to see the banner on the side (or here). I like how home-made it seems, “Search for Earth Sized Planets”. Makes it almost seem like a boy-scouts rocket project.

Near the Martian North Pole

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Taken by ESA’s Mars Express mission currently in orbit around Mars. It was actually aquired a while back last year.

Friend a Moon on Facebook

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

It is true. You can become friends with all the best moons on Facebook these days. Who wouldn’t want to get closer to Io. Maybe get to know better Jupiter’s moon Europa. Maybe you live in the same Solar System as Enceladus?!