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 '2560x1600' Category

Wallpaper: Frosted Martian Sand Dunes

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Wallpaper: Frosted Martian Sand Dunes

The most common force for change on Mars is wind. Dust-devils and dust storms are quite common and they result in patterns and textures as seen here. Making this image even more interesting is the frost developing on one side of these dunes as the Martian winter takes hold.

Wallpapers: The Martian Ganges Chasma

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

The Ganges Chasma is a side canyon at one end of the vast Valles Marineris trough system of Mars. This image was returned by ESA’s Mars Express, brought to our attention by Bill Dunford’s Riding with Robots. The image above is a 2560×1800 wallpaper. Download the 1440×900 here.

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.

2560 x 1600 Set 05 : Saturn Scenes

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Among the various worlds in our celestial neighborhood, Saturn stands apart as a most photogenic. With the help of a complex system of rings it naturally lends itself to more scenic images as compared to the more detail oriented images we see from such other places such as Mars or Jupiter. The “Saturn Scenes” set (downloadable here as a zipped file) was compiled from some of the best scenic images from the Cassini mission that had the potential to fill a 2560×1600 frame.

Wallpaper 2560x1600 Set 05

In order to completely fill that frame out some rendering and sampling has been applied to the original images. These additions are briefly noted in the images themselves and are as noted here…

DIONE AND SATURN features the moon Dione passing in front of the edge of Saturn’s disc. The original image would only fill about 1/4 of the frame so some of the details have been sampled and expanded to fill out that full frame’s proportions. The details of the rings are sampled from this image and based upon other photographic references. The left 2/3 of the rings seen here were rendered and are not actual. The lower 1/5 of Saturn’s disc was sampled and extended from the original image. Lastly, the top darkest ring shadows were rendered based upon a fair amount of actual data that was actually present in the original but was cropped short.

SATURN (which is named “SATURN-2.jpg” in the file name) has had a considerable amount of rendering to extend the details of the rings to fill out this larger 2560×1600 frame. The original color composite work was masterfully performed by Ian Regan for unmannedspaceflight.com and has become a wanderingspace favorite. In order to extend the rings to fill out the frame as accurately as possible, a one pixel wide sampling of the full set of rings was captured and digitally translated to vectors. These vectors were then stretched and applied to a circle path which was then rendered in 3-D software to achieve the correct perspective of the original. Once a match was made, the new vector based rings were then blended into the actual original image and some masking was applied to represent Saturn’s shadow falling upon the rings. Despite the heavily rendered nature of the rings, virtually no part of the disc of Saturn itself has been altered and is 99.5% original and actual.

All other images are actual and unaltered.

2560 x 1600 Set 02 : The Moons of Jupiter

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

The moons of Jupiter (well, the 4 major ones) are in their own right, a Solar System within a Solar System. There is volcanically explosive Io; Europa with its cracks and ridges hinting at its huge internal ocean; Ganymede the largest moon in our celestial neighborhood and Callisto one the most heavily cratered bodies we have anywhere. The 4 moons are also called the Galilean moons as they were discovered by Galileo and have since been revealed to be more fascinating than most planets are. The images below represent what I think are likely the best representative images of these places that can fill a 2560×1600 screen. At this size, the details are quite impressive… do take a look even if you can’t make use of the images as wallpaper images.
2560 x 1600 Set 02 : The Moons of Jupiter

The Europa image is actually a render created by Tayfun Öner as not that many satisfactory images exist of a full globe Europa. Many great images exist of Ganymede but most are low resolutions, this image was stitched together by Ted Stryk of www.unmannedspaceflight.com. The other two are officially released NASA composites.

Download the zipped files here

2560 x 1600 Set 01

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Images large enough to fill a wallpaper this large are few, but there are some. Here is set 01 which includes two images of Iapetus from this week’s encounter and one of Hyperion.

2560 x 1600 Set 01

Download the zipped files here