Amazing new looks at some pretty old data (Voyager at Neptune in 1989). Thanks to Machi at Unmanned Spaceflight.
Archive for the 'Neptune' Category
The above is an interesting project to image the full Neptune system based on actual data returned by Voyager. According to the article published along with the image — Rolf Wahl Olsen composed this scene from actual images from the departing Voyager probe. The rings (which were never photographed in their entirety) are based on over-exposed images and then density mapped to a model which was applied to the scene. Even the stars are based on one of the over exposed images of the rings which revealed what the probe would have seen and that field data was inserted from and image generated by Google Sky.
We mentioned these guys a week or so ago. But they just finished Moon May which is a series of animated videos that explore our moon, Mars’ moons, Neptune’s moon Triton and the Pluto system.
Especially if you have kids with an appreciation for science. These guys regularly do great animations that explain complex science — appropriate for all ages. They also promise a series of cool videos about cool moons in our solar system. So far they have only covered our own, next up… Mars’ Deimos and Phobos.
Daniel Machácek does some modernizing of old Voyager 2 data at neptune. You can clearly see a shadow of one of Neptune’s moons at the top right edge and two others in the same area that are much less obvious. Interesting thing about data is that it is often better than the processing technology that happens to be available at the time the actual missions took place. Add to that the fact that there is a small army of talented freelance imagers like Daniel, the result is what feels like new images from old missions.
You Are The Sun is the latest space themed tee by Chop Shop Store. Following on iconic tees that collected various deep space missions and historic Earth orbit missions, this new design draws a new picture of The Solar System as we know it today, complete with Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot.
With your head as a stand-in for The Sun — the tee includes all 8 planets, 7 major moons, The Asteroid Belt and even details little Pluto lost among countless Kuiper Belt objects. We are now providing yet another link here to get it for Men on American Apparel 2001 or Tultex tees and for Women on American Apparel 2102 tees.
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.
Ted loves to re-work old data sets from older missions with today’s technology. Often the results are visually beautiful and put a new face on old encounters, but occasionally this work also finds new items not seen the first time around. Above is a set of images of Neptune compiled to reveal that Voyager managed to capture the transit of one of its very small moons, Despina, across its face. This was a detail not previously seen until the data was re-worked by Ted.
He is back at updating his blog planetimages.blogspot.com and there are more images to come as some of the posts provide some great opportunities to update our “portrait” series of images. These are images that are tagged as such which feature the best global images of each major body in our Solar System.
Not to re-post old material, but our iPhone planetary skins were recently posted to fuelyourcreativity.com for free download. So I thought I would just remind everyone and maybe direct a little traffic love their way.
Planetary Blog has a nice review of Voyager 2’s flyby of Neptune’s moon Triton. That was 1989 and sadly, there is no way we will be seeing any new Triton images for at least 20 years as no missions are currently approved. There is a concept mission being considered for a New Frontiers class probe which is where we even get the number 20 from, but if that mission is not approved… who knows.
Ted Stryk has been re-working the old Voyager mission images at Triton and the results are shockingly sharp and high resolution. Ted’s work is also used on this “portrait” image of Triton, but this image shown above is another view and is comparatively massive in size for the Voyager Uranus/Neptune encounters.
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.
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.
Sorry, no Pluto for more than one reason.
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…
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.
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 unmannedspaceflight.com.
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.