You might remember earlier this summer when NASA released a striking image taken by the Cassini spacecraft of Earth as it appears from the dark side of Saturn. Yesterday the space agency wowed again with the first ever photograph of Saturn, Mars, Venus, and Earth all in the same shot. The image spans about 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometers) across and is made from 141 wide-angle photos taken by Cassini. You can learn more about the image over on JPL’s site where you can even download some wallpapers. This is a good excuse to watch an interpretation of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot monologue. Or this one. (via PetaPixel)
Swirling cloud art in the Atlantic Ocean / June 11, 2010
Agricultural crops in Aragon and Catalonia / November 26, 2010
Though I don’t have a homepage set, the first page in my daily rounds is always the Astronomy Picture of the Day (site currently down), a website launched by NASA and the Michigan Technological University way back in 1995, a nearly continous publication run of 18 years. Unfortunately due some minor, uhm, budget cuts in the U.S. government, all NASA websites are currently down due to a crushing 97% cut in workforce, including the humble Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Luckily there’s at least one space agency still publishing photos of space (and space from Earth), the European Space Agency. The ESA has an incredible Observing the Earth archive that’s updated every week and each satelitte image is usually accompanied by a brief essay to explain a bit about what you’re looking at. Collected here are some of my favorite images from the last few years taken with too many different satellites to mention, and you can search photos back through 2005 here. (via Devid Sketchbook)
Self-taught chef Rhiannon over at Cakecrumbs has been working on a fun series of planetary cakes that are designed to be scientifically accurate with different types of cake representing various layers within Earth and Jupiter. For her Jupiter Cake the center is the theoretical rock/ice core (mudcake), followed by a layer of liquid metallic hydrogen (almond butter), and finally the liquid molecular hydrogen (colored vanilla). She layered her Earth Cake similarly and finished it off with some absurdly detailed continent design made with marshmallow fondant.
Due to high demand she just posted an extremely detailed tutorial including a video that explains how to make spherical concentric layer cakes. Which is now a thing. That I will have at my birthdays now and forever. (via I F’ing Love Science)
Yesterday NASA published a new photograph taken on July 19, 2013, by a wide-angle camera on the Cassini spacecraft that shows a view of Earth from the dark side of Saturn. In the photo Earth is 898 million miles away and the moon appears as just a tiny protrusion off to the right (you might need to see it up close). According to NASA this is only the third time that Earth has ever been photographed from the outer solar system.
Sydney-based artist Catherine Nelson refers to herself as a painter with a camera, in that she doesn’t see the world as a photographer does but instead uses photos as a medium with which she creates these fantastic miniature worlds. Each work is comprised of hundreds of photographs which she digitally stitches together, drawing from an extensive background in visual special effects having worked on such films as Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter and 300. Of her work Nelson says:
When I embraced the medium of photography, I felt that taking a picture that represented only what was within the frame of the lens wasn’t expressing my personal and inner experience of the world around me. With the eye and training of a painter and with years of experience behind me in film visual effects, I began to take my photos to another level. The ‘Future Memories’ series comprises of 20 floating worlds, meticulously composed with thousands of assembled details. Visual poetry, nature photography and digital techniques blend together to give shape to these transcendental landscapes. The result is a contemporary pictorial mythology that subtly reminds the viewer of a profound truth: that it is in the flourishing variety of the local that the fate of the world resides.
Although the pieces are quite gorgeous to look at right here on Colossal, it’s hard to convey the resolution and scale of each piece which measures about 40×40″ (100x100cm), a level of detail that requires Nelson to spend nearly a month on each piece. It was my assumption based on the perspective and detail that some of these works must be somehow partially rendered in 3D, however she assured me via email that this is not the case. Though she uses digital editing to assemble them, they are almost purely based in photography. Incredible.
In this fascinating short video titled Chemin Vert, Rome-based artist Giacomo Miceli takes you on a fascinating road trip through a warped version of Earth known as a polargraphic projection, that spans five continents and four seasons using footage extracted from Google Street View. Via Miceli’s website:
Chemin Vert is the result of a slow process of maturation spanning a few years. Different techniques were employed in the beginning, involving long trips on the road across Europe while shooting time lapse videos on the go. Back then the scope of the project was substantially different, concentrating more on the augmentation (as in augmented-reality) of landscapes. At a certain point the accent was moved on the aesthetic qualities of the landscapes themselves and on the immersive factor. In the final version of Chemin Vert the original footage comes from Google Street View, without which this project wouldn’t have been possible.
NASA has just published what it calls the “most amazing highest resolution image of Earth ever”, dubbed Blue Marble. The 64-megapixel image weighing in at 8000×8000 pixels is actually a composite photograph taken on January 4th of this year using a number of captures stitched together from NASA’s Earth-observing satellite Suomi NPP. Make sure to see this sucker full size to really appreciate the details. (via gizmodo via nick ulivieri)
I’m loving these liquid planets by German photographer Markus Reugels. Using large satellite photos as a backdrop and a high speed camera he captures the background’s refraction through water drops. The perfectly timed shots result in these spherical representations of the Earth, Moon and Jupiter. See much more of his work here and also here. Thanks Markus for sharing your work with Colossal!