Floating around mysterious galaxies lie Nicole Gustafsson's futuristic ecosystems, angular planets that contain crystals, luminescent waterfalls, and alien plant life. These worlds, sometimes lit by two or more moons, contain the same pastel shades found in 80s sci fi and video games, yet depict visuals unlike any our own solar system has seen. Gustafsson paints her otherworldly illustrations using Acryla Gouache, applying each one directly to wood panel.
The works included are from two series of Gustafsson’s titled “Celestial Spaces” and “Fantastic Spaces,” each of which was inspired by her interest in space and mineral studies. You can purchase postcards and prints of these celestial paintings on her Etsy shop Nimasprout, and read more about her process on her blog. (via The Creators Project)
In a great example of just how powerful consumer cameras have become, watch as this Nikon P900 zooms into the night sky, transporting you from a parking lot in Quebec to the surface of the moon. According to DL Cade at PetaPixel, the built-in optical zoom maxes out at 83x but the camera is capable of continuing with digital zoom. “The P900 features 166x ‘Dynamic Fine Zoom,’ putting the final equivalent focal length at a mind-numbing 4000mm.” I don’t even know that that means exactly but it sounds like a whole lotta zoom. Video by Daniel Pelletier. (via Sploid, PetaPixel)
Determined to find a destination where he could photograph a completely dark sky, Russian photographer Daniel Kordan traveled to the Altiplano region of west-central South America, an area known for its absolute darkness, and which rises 12,300 feet above sea level. While here, Kordan captured the Uyuni salt flat with a special astrophotography camera. This type of camera unlocks the colors found in the sky, opening up the barriers between earth and space and casting the Milky Way onto the reflective flats.
Kordan’s next voyage is to the Faroe Islands and Greenland to lead several photography workshops and explorations. You can see more of his photography on Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)
We’ve long been fans of the data-rich illustrations produced by Pop Chart Lab, and this new print is no exception. The Chart of Cosmic Exploration documents every exploratory endeavor into space spanning Luna 2 in 1959 to DSCOVR in 2015. The elegantly dense chart not only depicts the flight paths and orbits around planets, moons, comets, and asteroids, but also takes pains to illustrate some 100 exploratory instruments. The result is a shockingly clear overview of an immensely complex topic. The print is now available for preorder and begins shipping next week. (via Mental_Floss)
Update: The Chart of Cosmic Exploration is now available in the Colossal Shop.
As part of a new series of experiments aboard the International Space Station to study how plants grow in microgravity, astronauts have planted and cultivated an entire flower garden. This weekend, astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted a signficant step in their research: this firey zinnia bloom, the first flower grown entirely in space. Plants like lettuce have aready been grown and eaten aboard the ISS, but the VEG-01 project is meant to explore how astronauts will eventually grow more complex foods like tomatoes. (via Neatorama)
Trying to imagine the scope of the cosmos is nearly impossible, but musician and artist Pablo Carlos Budassi decided to make a visual attempt by cramming the entire known universe into a single image. Using scores of satellite images and photos snapped from NASA’s rovers, he painstakingly pieced together many of the prominent features of the universe as observed from our solar system in the form of a logarithmic map. Logarithms are useful for understanding large numbers or distances, so in Budassi’s map each consecutive ‘ring’ around the circle represents several orders of magnitude further than the one before it.
Budassi was aided by similar (though less visually stunning) logarithmic maps produced by astronomers at Princeton back in 2005. In this map, our sun and solar system are seen in the middle, followed by the Milky Way Galaxy, another ring of nearby galaxies like Andromeda, all the way out to cosmic radiation and plasma generated by the bing bang on the furthest outskirts of the image.