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 'Jupiter' Category

Ganymede Looking Better, Thanks Ted

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Another new near global image of Ganymede by Ted Stryk. He has been producing new views of this Galilean moon for a while now from the old Galileo image sets which were compromised by a glitch that effected the entire mission.

Click on it… it’s large.

Juno is on the Way to Jupiter

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Juno is the first mission to study Jupiter since Galileo in the 90s and will arrive around July of 2016. The new imaging event on this encounter will be seeing the poles of Jupiter for the first time in great detail. The camera fitted to Juno are specifically for public consumption and promotion and less about science. It will be nice to have an instrument specifically dedicated to securing amazing images.

Io & Europa Image Upgrade

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

We posted a similar image of an Io and Europa mutual event from the New Horizons mission a few years back when it zipped past Jupiter on its long journey to Pluto. Our hero of freelancer image compositing Gordan Ugarkovic now presents to us a much better view.

I count at least 4 if not 5 active eruption on Io in this version. The level of detail improvement from the same encounter is amazing. Old missions keep getting newer.

Voyager 1 Approach Video by Bjorn Jonsson

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Voyager 1 Approach Video by Bjorn Jonsson from Chopping Block on Vimeo.

“This movie is different from similar Voyager movies because I’m keeping Jupiter’s size constant. This is accomplished by reprojecting the source images to simple cylindrical projection and then rendering everything using the same viewing geometry. I also sharpened the images a bit to better reveal various details.” — Bjorn Jonsson

The time lapse estimation is about 10 Earth hours per second. Special thanks to for all the awesome.

The Great Red Spot

Friday, November 5th, 2010

This is a reprocessed image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot from the 1979 Voyager 1 encounter with the planet. Old data like this is being crunched by people like Bjorn Jonsson to create new and better detailed images that were not possible when the data sets were originally acquired. For comparison, just take a look at the “official” NASA release of the same image data from back in ‘79. I do need to begrudgingly note that the contrast and sharpness have been artificially exaggerated in this newer image for appearance.

Schenk’s House of 3-D Moons!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Paul Schenk has been taking new and old data from missions to the various moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and building 3-D models of what it might be like to fly through some of their more fascinating features. These are renders built from actual images, so often you might see areas of lower resolution due to a lack of better mission data. The one posted above of Hi’iaka Montes on Io is one of the best on his youTube page as the data available from the region is mostly in high resolution with few gaps.

Ross Berens Ruins My Dreams

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I had really always thought it would be so cool to do a poster set with great design for each of the planets. I actually started a design for the Cassini at Saturn mission, but have yet to complete it. Sure enough someone comes along and knocks the whole system out in one fantastic series. Beat me to it!


50 Years of Space Exploration Map

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

This is so nice, but I am furious that I didn’t get to design this. This is Information design at it’s best naturally by National Geographic. You can see 50 years of robotic planetary exploration at a glance. It even includes failed missions represented by darker desaturated lines. As far as I can tell the cream colored lines are US and the red ones are Soviet. Interesting to see how many of those lines go dark around Mars.

Now where does one purchase such a thing? Perhaps this month’s issue of NG? Here is the link to it on their site complete with zoom viewer and them some kind samaritan posted a hires version to flickr.

Galilean Family Portrait

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

I usually do not go for montages of planets for a variety of reasons, but this family portrait of the 4 Galilean moons of Jupiter is quite gorgeous. They are easily the most fascinating and beautiful bodies of our system of worlds, save for perhaps Saturn and its rings.

Another work of art by Ted Stryk whose old blog Planetary Images from Then and Now has come back from the dead with vigor!

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.

iPhone Skins Featured on

Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Not to re-post old material, but our iPhone planetary skins were recently posted to for free download. So I thought I would just remind everyone and maybe direct a little traffic love their way. 

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?!

Outer Planets Mission Selected

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

It is final. NASA (and ESA) have selected the next flagship mission to the outer planets. The target is the Jupiter system, and by “system” I do mean system. NASA’s side of things will concentrate on a Europa orbiter which will observe Jupiter’s moon in details that we have never seen before. See this youTube video for a good overview. The last time we were near Europa enough to make close observation was with Galileo, but problems with that spacecraft resulted in a limited amount of data that one would expect from such a long orbiter mission such as Galileo.

Beyond Europa, the mission will also be close enough to do great observations of its closest neighbor, Io, as well – of course – as it’s host planet Jupiter. Also worth noting is the possible adoption of an Io specific orbiter as part of the New Horizons class of spacecraft whose targets for the next decade have yet to be determined.

Lastly, and certainly not at all a small thing… ESA will be running a Ganymede orbiter to work in tandem with the Europa mission. The two missions are more like partner missions such as the 2 Mars rovers than separate ones. They seem to planning for them both to arrive at the same time (or even launched from the same rocket, is that even possible?).

For those unfamiliar with these bodies, check out these links to other posts about Europa and Ganymede.

Hubble Almost Beats Voyager

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Jupiter and Callisto from Hubble

The two 80’s Voyager missions to Jupiter were one of the highlights of the decade in planetary missions. There were some images from the two Voyagers that were closer in detail that we can hope to do from Earth orbit, but this image above comes close. You wouldn’t know this was not a Voyager, or even a Galileo mission image except for the fact its not. Hard to imagine that only 20 years ago we couldn’t see a single detail on Ganymede’s surface without actually sending a probe to the Jupiter system. This view from Hubble is, “so sharp that astronomers can see features on Ganymede’s surface, most notably the white impact crater, Tros, and its system of rays, bright streaks of material blasted from the crater”.

MAD Infrared Jupiter Image

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Jupiter in infrared light

“Jupiter in infrared light, taken on the night of 17 August 2008 with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator (MAD) prototype instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. This false colour photo is the combination of a series of images taken over a time span of about 20 minutes, through three different filters (2, 2.14, and 2.16 microns).”

See Centauri Dreams for more.