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 the 'Io' Category

Wallpaper: Io’s Prometheus Volcano

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

Wallpaper: Io’s Promethius Volcano

Jason Perry has been featured here a whole bunch lately as he has been uploading newly processed Galileo images nearly every week (not to mention the recent New Horizons set). Some of these images would make great wallpaper displays, but the only issue with some are missing data regions and the noise that is common with hires images from the Galileo mission. Wanderingspace has attempted to artistically replace and clean of few of these images and will be posting the results of these for the next few days.

The region shown is the most famous of Io’s active volcanoes Prometheus. Normally we see this volcano at the edge of Io’s limb to view the plume clearly on profile, but here Galileo views this very active region from above during a flyby on orbit #27. The reddish haze surrounding the area is either the plume itself jettisoning materials or could also be deposits lying on the ground – perhaps Jason will comment and clarify.

Io’s Promethius Volcano

The above image is the Jason Perry original and the missing color information is apparent (only the green channel was provided from the mission). The noise at this scale is less apparent but much more visible on the hires version. It is important to note that the wallpaper version is an artistic attempt at cleaning and replacing the missing data and is meant for display viewing not science!

IMAGE NOTE: As stated above – the missing color data was colorized in the region it was missing and some of the thin strips of missing color data was simply replaced with new image information. You can also see areas at the edges of the composition that were filled with duplicate image data to fill the wallpaper frame most notably at top right and bottom left. The remainder of the image is original except for the noise reduction provided by Photoshop.

More New Horizons Io Images

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Io by Jupitershine by Jason Perry

The reason the left side is so blown out is due to the fact that the image was overexposed for Jupitershine and New Horizons cameras were designed for low light at Pluto which is ideal for observing the moons of Jupiter by light reflected off their host planet. However, doing this results in the total overexposure of the side lit by the Sun.

This is another Jason Perry image and the original can be found here. Wanderingspace simply removed the lens flare noise and the overexposed color noise. He just added some New Horizons Io images that he has personally reprocessed on this page.

Fun With Io

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

Jason Perry’s most excellent Io blog (who would have ever expected there would be an Io blog one day) is loaded with his finely reprocessed Io images from the historic Galileo mission. Some of the more dramatic images were only captured in monochrome (that is black and white to most), so I thought I might try and colorize one of these images just for shits and giggles.

Fun with Jason Perry Images 01

The image is that of Hi’iaka Patera and two nearby mountains (taken in 1999). The tallest peak is about 11 kilometers high. The dark features are usually thought to be calderas, however the dark regions here could be depressions that were later filled by dark lava flows. Galileo took the images at from about 26,000 kilometers.

The colorized image is merely an artistic impression. You can see where missing data has been “filled” in with texture by comparing the two images and seeing where the composite left gaps. The color information is wholly interpretive and based upon colors that appear in many other Io images but are not at all matched up to the region specifically. The real image was processed by Jason Perry and the original image is located on his page of Galileo Io images from orbit 25.

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.

An Ionian Blog

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

Io as seen by PioneerOne of the most fascinating places in the Solar System to study would have to be the Jupiter moon Io. Previous to Voyager, the only image of Io available would be this image (at left) taken by the Pioneer 11 mission in 1974 which only hinted at what was to come with its slightly orange hue. Beyond this most scientists thought that Io would be another highly cratered and dusty moon very much like our own until Voyager returned its first highly detailed images. You can only image the shock of mission specialists when they got a look at this yellow, red and white pizza moon which was completely void of any sign of cratering.

Galileo at Io 32nd Orbit by Jason Perry

As it turned out, Io happens to be the most highly volcanic body in the entire Solar System. Enter the Galileo mission of the 90’s which stuck around for a while staying in orbit around Jupiter and not just driving by. Jason Perry is part of the Cassini Mission imaging team and has been re-processing these Galileo images of Io in his spare time. He has posted a large collection of these images as well as publishing a blog that specializes on all things Io and the images selected here are some of Jason’s recently processed favorites.

Galileo at Io 14th Orbit by Jason Perry

These two images are natural color images and most likely best represent what the human eye might see out the portal window of their spacecraft. When asked what he might like to say about these images to a general audience Jason responded, “The colors you see in these two images are largely the result of sulfur and related compounds. Sulfur on Io produced the general yellowish color of much of the surface. The reddish color of the polar regions is the result of radiation-damaged* sulfur. The whitish areas on the surface are the result of Sulfur dioxide: an industrial pollutant on Earth, a frost on Io.” Good information to mention about a highly volcanic moon as many people probably assume that all that red and yellow is similar to the molten rock images you see from here on Earth.

* Jupiter’s magnetosphere traps the solar wind which produces a large amount of radiation. Io orbits within a region that is highly saturated by this radiation.

Cassini’s Io Animation

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Io Eclipse Animation

Check out this great animation found on the internet a while back that was compiled from images taken by the Cassini probe as it flew by Jupiter at the tail end of 2000. It used to be hosted at a U.S. astrogeology site which no longer exists and the animation was credited to Paul Geissler. Those glowing dots are active volcanoes. At the very end there is a blast of light from a crescent Io coming into view. The features are strikingly similar to those of the “dark side” image of Io published here during the New Horizons encounter, including the “auroral displays in Io’s tenuous atmosphere interacting with Jupiter’s magnetosphere”.

NOTE: The animation was cleaned up a bit by just for presentation purposes. This mostly included increasing the canvas size, removing all the surrounding noise and darkening the disc of Io itself.

Oh Io

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Two on edge eruptions on Io as seen by New Horizons

Just looking at the New Horizon images of Io from last year. There were a bunch Io images posted here during that flyby… but i like especially the tiny small plume you can see sharply on the left edge of Io (seen blown out on this post). Most images placed an emphasis on the larger Tvashtar Volcano seen top, left of center.

New Horizons Opens its Vault

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Jupiter, Io and Ganymede From New Horizons by Gordan Ugarkovic

The New Horizons team has made all the MVIC (Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera) images as well as the LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) images from the Jupiter encounter available for imagers to kick around. The above image is by Gordan Ugarkovic and is apparently a “colorized” version of a monochrome he created using earth based observations of the planet from around the same time. In addition to the two moons (and a shadow), also visible are both the Great Red Spot as well as the “Red Junior” spot which has in recent months has become a new notable feature of Jupiter.

The iPhone Set 01: Bodies of Major Interest

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

The iPhone Set 01: Bodies of Major Interest

If I am going to keep making these things… I’d be a fool to not include a set for the Apple iPhone. Coincidentally, when you purchase your iPhone and do not yet have a phone service, the phone displays a full-disc image of the Earth pretty much displayed exactly as these do when uploaded to your iPhone. So in the spirit of continuity, you can now opt instead to have Mercury, Venus, Earth, The Moon (Luna), Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Saturn, Enceladus, Titan, Iapetus, Hyperion, Uranus, Miranda, Neptune or Triton grace your screen instead of the default Earth.

The easiest way to install wallpapers to your iPhone is to make a special set in iPhoto and simply drag all the files to that folder. Then in iTunes have your iPhone sync that folder to your photos collection. After that it is as simple as opening the “Photos” area of your iPhone. Go to your new folder of images and open whichever image you want. Then tap on the image just once and assign it as a wallpaper using the “Use as Wallpaper” button in the lower left corner of the screen.

If you have a PC I have no idea in hell how the hell you get images into your iPhone. I would buy a Mac… you have an iPhone and use iTunes… you are half-way there.

For a version of these with no graphics see this link.

2560 x 1600 Set 02 : The Moons of Jupiter

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

The moons of Jupiter (well, the 4 major ones) are in their own right, a Solar System within a Solar System. There is volcanically explosive Io; Europa with its cracks and ridges hinting at its huge internal ocean; Ganymede the largest moon in our celestial neighborhood and Callisto one the most heavily cratered bodies we have anywhere. The 4 moons are also called the Galilean moons as they were discovered by Galileo and have since been revealed to be more fascinating than most planets are. The images below represent what I think are likely the best representative images of these places that can fill a 2560×1600 screen. At this size, the details are quite impressive… do take a look even if you can’t make use of the images as wallpaper images.
2560 x 1600 Set 02 : The Moons of Jupiter

The Europa image is actually a render created by Tayfun Öner as not that many satisfactory images exist of a full globe Europa. Many great images exist of Ganymede but most are low resolutions, this image was stitched together by Ted Stryk of The other two are officially released NASA composites.

Download the zipped files here

Io Aglow

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Io Night Side Eruption Map

This is a bit old taken from February 2007’s New Horizons encounter at Jupiter. A very noisy image was released of Io on the dark side of Jupiter that illustrated the glowing lights of lava flows and auroral displays in Io’s tenuous atmosphere interacting with Jupiter’s magnetosphere. Original Noisy Image of Io AglowNoise always bothers me and there has been a desire to somehow clean up the presentation of this fantastic image.

The process was simply to blur the image, layer highlight information a few times with varying degrees of sharpness or blur and to simply hand remove what would seem to be simply noise artifacts. The problem is that some of this information wasn’t just noise, but is actually auroral glow (especially at the disk edge). So after some of the noise was removed it was softened and re-introduced selectively around active areas where the assumption is that the glow near these spots is more intense. The final step was to simply reduce the file size so that it became sharper.

This presentation is purely artistic although it does come from real image data… I just wouldn’t use it to support any scientific papers. The items marked simply as “volcano” were newly discovered by New Horizons.

Io’s Tvashtar Volcano Movie in Slo-Mo

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

Io’s Tvashtar Volcano Movie

This animated gif has been making the rounds lately… It is composed of 5 images taken by New Horizons as it sped past Jupiter in February. Of course, 5 frames go by pretty quickly and do not really allow us any time to appreciate the motion. So I did a really simple thing and added a whole bunch more frames in between the 5 primary images then simply faded them into one another. This creates the illusion of a smoother and longer animation, but really you are still only seeing 5 total images. I tried faking a loop from frame 5 back to 1, but that was near impossible and not really an honest representation of what New Horizons saw.

Io Plume and Europa Rises

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Two impressive images from the New Horizons mission as it sped past Jupiter last February. Releases sure are taking time… they must be coming back in on e pixel a day!

Io Plume

Best detail yet seen on a volcanic plume on Io

Europa Rises

Europa seen rising Apollo style over the edge of Jupiter.

New Horizons Spies Io and Europa… Together

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

New Horizons Spies Io and Europa

New Horizons has some sensitive vision for its investigation of the Pluto system. Because there is so little light at Pluto (comparitively), when looking back at Io and Europa it was able to capture this image with what looks like a considerable amount of “jupitershine” reflecting off of Io. Normally this kind of reflection is quite subtle. Furthermore, the reason Europa has no “jupitershine” is because it is closer to New Horizons on the dark side of Jupiter and Io is further away on the sunlit side of Jupiter… therefore capturing some light bouncing off the cloud tops.

Yes, the blue thing on Io is a volcano.

Io Erupts

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Io with Multiple Eruptions

As New Horizons swung by Jupiter a few days ago, we got a good look at some new volcanic activity on Io. There are at least 3 active plumes seen in this image which is lit by both the Sun and Jupiter reflection (the New Horizon cameras were designed for the low light expected at Pluto). The largest one seen here, Tvashtar, represents the best detail we have ever aquired of an active volcano on Io… even compared to those of Galileo. The secondary plume at 9 0’clock is Prometheus and the third one, Masubi, is inset around 6 o’clock catching the light of the Sun on the dark side of Io.

This will be the last image of an early handful as the spacecraft is simply too busy recording data to turn around and face the Earth to talk to us. More images will be released in the coming weeks as activities die down and the spacecraft has less to record. Sadly, once the full stream of data is returned to Earth from this encounter – it will be the last up-close images we will see of Jupiter and its moons for at least 15 years as no new missions to Jupiter have yet been assigned. Based on previous experience, any new proposed missions to the outer Solar System will take at least 12 years to concieve, approve and build (especially depending upon its complexity). I only pray that I live to see the day that we go beneath the icy crust of Europa and take a fantastic other-worldly-under-sea voyage to a place that may be the only environment in our solar system hospitable to evolving life.