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 'Neptune' Category

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.

Wallpaper 2560×1600 Set 03: The Planets

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

The planets – the complete set for collectors! While there are literally thousands of images of the planets to choose from… full globe high resolution images are actually fairly rare. They usually require many exposures to be stitched together to make one large complete image. This is not only difficult to work out across the great distances of space, but also soaks up a large amount of valuable spacecraft time and energy. This set represents the best available images of each planet in our Solar System.

Wallpaper 2560x1600 Set 03

Sorry, no Pluto for more than one reason.

Wallpaper: Triton Cryo-Volcanos

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Wallpaper: Triton Cryo-Volcanos
As of this time, Triton (a moon of Neptune) has the coldest temperature ever recorded in human history on any terrestrial surface… -235 C, -391 F. At these temperatures, nobody would have expected anything other than a huge frozen solid ice ball. Instead, Triton is littered with what we now call cryo-volcanos… or cold volcanos. They erupt or eject materials other than molten rock, such as water, ammonia or methane. As we are seeing in places like Titan (who is also suspected of having cryo-volcanos) many characteristics of Earth geology and weather are simulated elsewhere in the Solar System with different materials. On Earth it rains water, but on Titan it rains methane, and likewise on Triton it erupts probably liquid nitrogen instead of magma as it does here on Earth.

Only two active cryo-volcanos have been confirmed on Triton, but it is generally assumed that each one of those black smudges visible in this image are the remnants of recently active cryo-volcanos. There are quite a few…

Wallpaper: Triton Portrait

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Wallpaper: Triton Portrait

Another big surprise of the Voyager mission was the discovery that the coldest place in the solar system is also home to a considerable amount of geological activity. The moon appears to be widely populated by a large amount of cryovolcanos which were observed directly by Voyager in 1989. These volcanos can be seen in this image as small black smudges mostly located running across the center of the disk. It also has a tenuous atmosphere almost entirely composed of nitrogen.

One of the most interesting bits of information about Triton to me is that the orbit runs in the opposite direction of Neptune’s rotation. This suggests that at one time, Triton may have been a dwarf planet captured by Neptune’s pull. This would also explain the lack of numerous moons which we see at many of the other gas giant planets. Triton would have swept through the Neptune system and probably either collided with or ejected whatever moons may have existed in the system. Triton also has a very slowly decaying orbit and will likely collide with Neptune or shatter into pieces to form a new ring system in 3.6 billion years.

Wallpaper: Triton

Image Note: This is the orignal Triton portrait image that was posted to this site. The newer and improved main top image was recently generated by Ted Stryk and posted to

Wallpaper: Neptune Portrait

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Wallpaper: Neptune

Neptune is the newly designated last “planet” in the solar system. It is the fourth gas giant and like Jupiter, it has its own “Great Red Spot” only in the case of Neptune it has been referred to as the “Great Dark Spot”. Like the other giants it also has a tenuous ring system and a system of moons. Only one of those moons, Triton, stands apart in size and characteristics and is one of the more interesting places to see in the solar system.