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)
I’ve seen several different videos of Curiosity’s descent down to the Mars, and while incredible because of what they depict, none approached the frame-rate we might normally expect from an actual film. Using footage provided by NASA, Reddit user Godd2 just spent the last four days on behalf of all humankind creating a stunning interpolated HD version of the descent. In layman’s terms interpolation involves taking a choppy video, in this case NASA’s 4 frames-per-second video, and rendering the “missing” frames in between resulting in an incredibly smooth 25 frames-per-second video. This is, I believe, the closest approximation ever of what it might feel like to land on another planet in real time using actual footage. Amazing. Here it is on YouTube.
Last week I stayed up well into the night waiting for news of Curiosity’ssuccessful landing on Mars. Although the first few dusty, low-res images were a bit underwhelming they were no less incredible: after traveling for over 8 months and 352 million miles we successfully landed a 2,000 pound car on another planet. Thankfully the wait for incredible imagery is finally over. The folks over at EDS Systems have stitched together a high-resolution interactive panorama of Curiosity’s landing site from where she’ll soon embark on at least two years of research and investigation of the red planet.