Still waiting on better images from the Ultima Thule flyby on New Years Eve. Above is the best of just two images shared so far from the encounter. Below is a true-color attempt by Wildespace onunmannedspaceflight.com.
The short clip compresses 25 minutes of images taken by the Philae Lander as it came to rest on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. There is more going on in the image than you would think. Much of the dust that appears to be falling straight down are actually stars moving as 67P rotates. The dust that is actually moving in the image travels in all directions and mostly upward.
Image by @landru79 (who just won the internet). Be sure to see this page on LiveScience that explains how the clip was made and also includes an animation isolating the stars so you can see what is actually moving on the surface.
The third and final design in their Giant Leaps in Space Print Series was posted last week for Vostok 1. This was the first ever mission to achieve human spaceflight. Check out this and the rest of the series currently funding on Kickstarter with only a few days left. The campaign ends on March 14.
All three designs are now posted for this latest installation of Chop Shop’s series of Space Exploration Mission posters. Consider becoming a backer and the rewards go on sale for their normal retail price.
The second design in their Giant Leaps in Space Print Series was posted this weekend. Check out the full series now funding on Kickstarter. Next up is Vostok 1 and Yuri Gegarin’s historic first mission of human spaceflight.
If you are familiar with Chop Shop’s Historic Robotic Spacecraft Series then their next three space exploration prints might also interest you. The new series is called Giant Leaps in Space and the focus is now on human spaceflight. This series will consist of three prints featuring Apollo 11 (already designed), The International Space Station (due Feb 21) and Vostock 1 (due Feb 28).
It is now funding on Kickstarter through to March 14 with rewards ranging from screen prints, more affordable archival digital prints, t-shirts and stickers.
I still cannot believe Pluto has this much variance in it’s geology. I truly expected New Horizons to arrive and find something more like Dione. No disrespect intended to one of Saturn’s own, but you don’t want to travel nearly 10 years to uncover a frozen and cratered dirty snowball. Even while Hubble was hinting at something amazing before we finally arrived, I still expected to be underwhelmed.
New Horizons has revealed one of the most diverse bodies in our Solar System which presents an intriguing mystery. How does an object so far from the warmth of the sun, and too small to generate it’s own internal heat manage to create floating mountains, smooth icy plains and truly wild textures that we are used to seeing on small bodies orbiting too close to giant planets?
Even more exciting… we now know that size and distance may not matter as much as we had thought. All of the other Dwarf Planets in the Kuiper Belt may each be just as amazing as Pluto has been revealed to be. When do we start planning for a New Horizons 2 visit to Eris?
For two days only, buy one of our limited edition Robotic Spacecraft Series Prints and get the full suite of vinyl stickers for free. This is a total savings of $24 and would serve as a great stocking stuffer to follow the presentation of the print.
The images coming back so far from Pluto look incredible. For the first time since Voyager uncovered exactly how exotic the moons of Jupiter really were — we are seeing things at Pluto that few saw coming. Some images show Pluto looking like a real-life version of a sci-fi illustration from the 1960s, with all kinds of lines, circles and spots of which we still know very little about.
Shown above is the Chop Shop Studio poster celebrating New Horizons at Pluto and is being updated almost every day when new images are released from the mission. This is the third update from July 11 data. The design along with two other missions is being crowd-funded on Kickstarter right now and you can still vote on which missions make the cut for posters #8 and #9.
The poll is complete and the most popular robotic spacecraft in history have been selected. Thanks to the efforts by The Planetary Society. The top three missions selected here now represent the themes of our series of screen-printed posters celebrating the history of robotic space exploration. To support this effort please see our campaign page at Kickstarter.
The Voyager Program As we expected the Voyager Program came into the top spot with 507 votes (18.5%). The poster for this design is already complete and available for viewing on the campaign page.
Cassini / Huygens Cassini takes poster #2 with 432 votes (15.7%), effectively eclipsing it’s sister probe Galileo. This design is expected to be completed on or before October 23rd.
Mars Science Lab (aka Curiosity) The newest member of the robotic Martian community of surface rovers, Curiosity arrived in 2012 and has stolen the thunder of the previous Mars Exploration Rovers with 340 votes (12.4%). This design is expected to be completed on or before October 31st.
As for the rest of the list, here is how things all panned out:
- The Mars Exploration Rovers 189 (6.9%)
- Sputnik (Earth) 169 (6.2%)
- The Viking Program (Mars) 146 (5.3%)
- New Horizons (Pluto) 136 (5.0%)
- Rosetta (comet) 123 (4.5%)
- Galileo (Jupiter) 121 (4.4%)
- Venera (Venus) 67 (2.4%)
- Pioneers 10 & 11 (Jupiter & Saturn) 66 (2.4%)
- The Mariner Program (Mercury, Venus & Mars) 47 (1.7%)
- Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter 40 (1.5%)
- Hayabusa (asteroid) 39 (1.4%)
- Mars Express39 (1.4%)
- Deep Impact / Epoxi (comet) 36 (1.3%)
- Stardust (comet) 26 (0.9%)
- Messenger (Mercury) 25 (0.9%)
- Maven (Mars) 22 (0.8%)
- Dawn (Vesta & Ceres) 22 (0.8%)
Should we reach our stretch goals, this would also make poster #4’s theme the Opportunity & Spirit rovers and poster #5’s surprising but historically honorable theme going to Sputnik.
Our new Kickstarter project proposes the creation of three screen-printed posters celebrating the most popular and notable interplanetary robotic space missions in history. Going into this, we knew that poster #1 had to go to the hugely popular Voyager missions (shown above). However, we need your help selecting the themes of posters #2 and #3. So head over to The Planetary Society now to vote on your three favorite missions, but do it by the 19th to have it count for the poster selection. If this goes better than expected we could even wind up designing a fourth or fifth.
Discover online has an article today about some of the best in amateur space imaging. Many of which have been featured here on Wanderingspace before like Gordan Ugarkovic, Emily Lakdawalla and Bjorn Jonsson to name a few. The last item from Bill Dunford of Riding With Robots is an image that he actually suggested NASA point their HiRise cameras at that location. He suspected they might find something interesting there and they did —flash water movement and evidence of avalanches.
One of the best images to ever grace this blog has to be Don P. Mitchell’s re-renderings of Venera 13 and 14. A miraculous re-rendering of Soviet-era data to create a whole new “human eyes” look at the surface of Venus (I also took the liberty of (artistically) colorizing those images as well). Now Ted Stryk — no stranger to these pages — has taken a shot at Venera 9 and 10 as well. The results are not as amazing as Don’s earlier work but that is simply due the missions having a more limited set of data. I must add that it is pleasing to see Ted’s (a scientist) colorizing is similar to our own (not a scientist).
See the whole story of how Ted’s images were made here.
The above is an interesting project to image the full Neptune system based on actual data returned by Voyager. According to the article published along with the image — Rolf Wahl Olsen composed this scene from actual images from the departing Voyager probe. The rings (which were never photographed in their entirety) are based on over-exposed images and then density mapped to a model which was applied to the scene. Even the stars are based on one of the over exposed images of the rings which revealed what the probe would have seen and that field data was inserted from and image generated by Google Sky.