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 'news' Category

Chang’E on the Moon

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The first soft-landing on the Moon since the Soviets did it with Luna 24 in 1976.

One of the first views from the lander after it landed on Dec 14, 2013.

The rover Yutu after deployment. See how Chinese state television saw the event here.

In Saturn’s Rings Official Trailer

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013


The long awaited official trailer for “In Saturn’s Rings” has been unleashed. Looking forward to this film for over three years now.

Cosmos Time

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I don’t usually post tee designs not by Chop Shop, but as a massive fan both of Cosmos and Adventure Time — I couldn’t justify not tipping this off. For anyone not aware of the world around them, a new series called “Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey” is due to be released in Spring 2014. This time playing Jake the Dog to Carl Sagan’s Finn the Human will be Neil DeGrasse Tyson as illustrated in the design above.

What Good is Space Exploration?

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Answer: Could change/save the world as we know it.

Short-sighted discreditors of space exploration often question what good it is to have a man on the moon. What good can come of sending probes to Mars for so many millions of dollars? Leaving aside mankind’s natural impulse to learn and understand everything around us (not to mention how well it has served us), practical reasons for exploring something as barren as our moon do run thin to the average citizen. While I do so value the science that happens at such remote locations, it is the getting there that challenges us to push the boundaries of known science. Coming up with a better and safer means of space travel can wind up producing something like this; a potentially abundant green source of energy that could transform the world and be the answer to many of the problems facing the us today.

What is often hard to explain to people who negate the need for space exploration are the side benefits of such programs for the whole world. Just like wars, performing something as technically challenging as space exploration results in pushing the boundaries of science in directions it might not have otherwise gone. When Sputnik was launched, most believed that space would go the way of a militarized zone and become a new battleground for superiority. Instead, all these years later we enjoy a vast communication network that has helped topple entire governments without a single bullet being fired. If it is a choice, I would choose space exploration over another world war to press mankind further along the path of progress any day.

So to those who think the best that going to the moon has produced is velcro — consider the possibility that by NASA may be on the way to providing the world with abundant clean energy as the result of trying to find a cheaper safer way to the stars. Not a bad fringe benefit.

The Martian Hammer

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Occasionally they find things on Mars that I don’t bother posting because they are obviously bits of plastic that fell from descent, or are just shadow tricks. But this one has me and others scratching our collective heads. It really seems to be “growing” from the rock below and is clearly a shiny metallic material. Possibly a dropped Martian hammer?

Read more at The Atlantic.

Follow Us on the Facebook

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

We are here on the FB. This way you can see our posts among all your posts about cats having cheeseburgers.

Messenger, I Owe You Some Attention

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

To the casual observer Mercury is a body double of our own moon, but they are very different on the inside. In images, however, it offers very little that is unfamiliar from what we can see with our own eyes when we look up. Included in this post are 4 full color images of Mercury with the above being taken in February, 2012.

The above and image also from February, 2012.

Above image captured by Messenger in April, 2012.

Above taken November, 2009.

We are Back

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

I was locked out of my own Word Press blog. But we are back in. I wonder what I missed to post about?

Curiosity Begins

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

I last wrote about this mission in 2007. Now it is actually upon us. So never mind the launch… what is remarkable about this trip is when it arrives. JPL commissioned this incredible animation that is so real you feel like it was videotaped live. This is expected to take place August of 2012.

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.

Vesta as Seen by Dawn July 9

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Apparently Dawn has achieved an orbit around Vesta. There was some concern that it would even be possible considering Vesta’s weak gravitational pull. This is the first time an object has been placed in orbit around an object in the Asteroid Belt.

Sun Goes Boom (Not Really, No Sound in Space)

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

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 unmannedspaceflight.com for all the awesome.

Epoxy Hartley 2 Encounter

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Now That is a Comet

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Deep Impact (now known as the Epoxi Mission) passes by comet Hartley 2 and takes the best images of an active comet that I have seen. Too many jets to count on the recently released set of images from closest approach. Apparently there is a huge number of higher resolution images still to come.