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 July, 2009

Jupiter Slammed Again

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Barely 15 years after Comet Shoemaker-Levy slammed into Jupiter, another large object hit Jupiter this month when nobody was looking. This image was taken 4 days after the event and displays an Earth-sized scar in the upper atmosphere of the planet. The object that did the slamming is estimated to have been about the size of several football fields. This should be a fairly rare event, although twice in 15 years is literally a blip on a celestial time scale.

Chopping Block’s Tribute to Apollo (Circa 1998)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Chop NASA Emblem
Not as long ago as 40 years ago, but just a little over 10 years ago – The Chopping Block adopted the look of NASA Chop Geminifor one of our online incarnations. More specific our adopted look embraced the era of Apollo in hopes that a little of that former astro-glory might rub off on our small New York graphic design studio which was at that time only about a year old. So we thought it appropriate on this 40th anniversary of the touchdown at Tranquility Base, that we revisit our own journey through cyberspace and our small tribute to the historic landmark that is Apollo. (more…)

Saturnati XXI

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Another by Gordan Ugarkovic.

Mariner 10 Re-Imaging of Venus

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Been meaning to catch up on a few odds and ends lying around. This image of Venus was re-worked from Mariner 10 images by Mattias Malmer somewhere around 2005. It is an attempt at showing Venus in natural light and is far better than the version previously used as our “portrait” image for Venus. The issue is that Mariner 10 images only allow one to do that by taking some liberties with UV data. According to Malmer, “I think that if I were to make an even blander version of the this image it would be close enough to reality”.

See the original 2005 post on unmannedspaceflight.com where you can get this image at 4000×4000 resolution. Time for a wallpaper update.

Tweets of Apollo

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

You can also follow the mission in real-time as history played out 40 years ago on twitter. Follow Mission Control, The Spacecraft or The Lunur Excursion Module (Eagle). The Eagle will not have much to say, obviously, until it is actually descending toward the surface of the moon on Monday, but it has just started making some noise on Sunday night.

Echos of Apollo Online

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Follow the Apollo 11 mission in real time at wechosethemoon.org for the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. The site comes complete with a gorgeous mission animation that shows the viewer what stage the mission is in as the data loads in the background. Once the page opens up we are treated to various interactive modules like photo and video galleries featuring material from the current stage of the mission as well as an oddly placed JFK and Apollo gallery.

The best part is the real-time audio stream. As I am writing this, the astronauts are asleep and every 15 minutes mission control interrupts the static to essentially report how long they have been asleep and that the mission is progressing nominally. As boring as that is… it sure makes it real and takes those too young to have been a part of it as close to knowing how that might have felt to follow this historic event. Of course, the whole thing peaks on the 20th with the real-time streaming of touch down at Tranquility Base.

Also see NASA’s newly restored footage of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong’s magnificent first step.