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 'Video/Movie' Category

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.

Saturn Still Images Come to Life

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

If you haven’t followed the work of Stephen v2 and his film “Outside In”, you might want to take a look at what he has in store for us. Using only still images from the Cassini mission, Stephen is making a very impressive tour of the Saturn system without using any CGI, 3D models or textures. While those techniques make great Hollywood films they often fall short of making something that is actually a real place… look real. See below for a very brief clip of how this all ends up looking with a much better and longer clip coming in the near future.

from New “Outside In” clip teaser from stephen v2 on Vimeo.

Rounding the Pole of Iapetus

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Animation of Cassini rounding the pole of Iapetus. Images by Gordan Ugarkovic.

What it might have looked like to be riding Cassini as it rounded the pole of Iapetus from the last encounter. The animation was compiled using images composed by Gordan Ugarkovic.

A Saturnian Aurora Captured

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Astro0 (a contributor to had been looking through a 159 frame set of images that showed a tiny portion of Saturn’s sunlit limb. He animated it just to see the effect and happened upon a pretty nice animation of a Saturnian aurora (click here for the animation). Which is likely the first time we are seeing an aurora on another world so clearly animated.

To be clear… the spots that stand still in the animation are artifacts of the images. The streaks are stars seemingly flying by due to Cassini’s cameras being trained on one spot as it and Saturn itself are moving through space. Astro0’s blog can be found here and I suspect will soon feature a post with more details on the animation in the very near future.

Rhea Flyby Animation

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Another Gordan Ugarkovic. It never ends!

Echos of Apollo Online

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Follow the Apollo 11 mission in real time at 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.

Solar Videos Set to Music

Monday, May 11th, 2009

This video was compiled and the music composed by Jeff Sheilds aka Podcast Troubadour. Some may recall Jeff also composed these themes for The Carnival of Space for September 2007.

Time Lapse Imagery from ISS

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

While astronaut Don Pettit was living aboard the International Space Station (ISS), he used some of his off-duty time to make time lapse videos of what he was seeing outside of the ISS window. There are a few examples of this work in this video from Science Friday (NPR). It begins with some beautiful aurora followed by a view of the solar panels rotating (they do this every 90 mins) and a simple look at the earth whirling about through a portal window.

See also this experiment involving candy corns.

Moon Tube

Monday, January 5th, 2009

JAXA has set up its Kaguya YouTube page. Lots of moon videos like the one above, which has been sped up and converted to a gif here (showing only about 1 of every 20 frames). See the full animation here.

Prometheus (the Movie)

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Yes, another movie of Prometheus disturbing Saturn’s rings. This is the longest clip and includes the most ring swinging action for your money. This version has been cropped and reduced down from the original. See here for a larger, wider view of the same animation (2M gif).

Roving Mars

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Roving Mars IMAX Movie

How do I not see these things? This was from back in 2006. I don’t recall ever hearing of this. It is an IMAX on the two Mars rover missions Spirit and Opportunity. Coincidentally, Paul Newman who passed recently apparently had something to do with it as well. I assume narration.

Update: IMAX in a Basement

Friday, October 10th, 2008


Its been a while since I have updated the progress on IMAX in a Basement, which features imagery from the Cassini mission. See youTube for a nice “Problems Solved” video that includes a sweet sweep across what looks like Enceladus toward Saturn.

Express Way to Venus

Friday, May 30th, 2008

One More Earthrise

Too few images come from the Venus Express mission. Probably has something to do with its featurelessness. The only way to see this level of detail in the Venusian clouds is by using alternative flase-color imaging. These frames were taken in ultraviolet light.

Plume Diving: The Departure

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

The 03.12.08 Enceladus Approach

Cassini moves away from it’s risky encounter at Enceladus… This came out so cool that it looks fake.

IMAGE NOTE: 3 frames of this 13 frame animation were “faked” in that adjacent frames were used to fill in gaps. The size and position of Enceladus was simply adjusted on these frames to create a smoother transition where needed. Additionally, the last 3 frames had stars added to the background for consistency.

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.