The Hexagonal Saturn Storm

This is a raw image of the storm found at the center of Saturn’s hexagonal feature located at it’s northern pole (see below). Be sure to click on it for the high-res.

The image is going to be “officially released” soon, but I don’t know how much better it can get than this. One of the exciting things about this storm is the depth that we are allowed to see into Saturn. There is no other feature on Saturn that allows us to see any further than the cloud tops.

Best of G. Ugarkovic (Last 8 Months)

If you follow this blog on any basis, you might be well aware that a good percentage of the imagery is provided by our good flickr friend Gordan Ugarkovic. Here is a bit of what we missed from him in the last 10 months we were locked out.

Titan at the edge of Saturn taken 2011-05-21. Looks unreal. Like Titan was dropped into the scene using Photoshop. A sin I would never commit. See the lesser “official” NASA version released a few months back here.

Keeping with the theme of moons transiting Saturn. Here is Rhea and tiny Epimetheus doing what they do. Taken in 2010-03-24.

Finally, just to change it up… two moons against Titan, another of Saturn’s moons. Pictured above the Titanian cloud-tops is Dione on the left and Rhea on the right.

Titan’s Polar Vortex

Titan Only a true lover of planetary exploration can get excited about an image like this. Titan is definitely one of the most exciting places in the solar system despite it’s almost total lack of discernible details either surface or in cloud structure. So like Uranus and Venus most images of these locales look something like smooth monochromatic tennis balls without the white lines.

Titan’s polar vortex in color

Above is a color image of the vortex in more detail. Scientists are still unsure of the process that causes this to occur. However, similar phenomenon have been seen before — most notably on Titan’s parent planet, Saturn.

You Are the Center of the Solar System

You Are The Sun is the latest space themed tee by Chop Shop Store. Following on iconic tees that collected various deep space missions and historic Earth orbit missions, this new design draws a new picture of The Solar System as we know it today, complete with Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot.

With your head as a stand-in for The Sun — the tee includes all 8 planets, 7 major moons, The Asteroid Belt and even details little Pluto lost among countless Kuiper Belt objects. We are now providing yet another link here to get it for Men on American Apparel 2001 or Tultex tees and for Women on American Apparel 2102 tees.

The Cassini Mission in Stark B&W

CASSINI MISSION from Chris Abbas on Vimeo.

Gorgeous idea — taking the raw images from the Cassini mission and making a long flip-book style movie. Leaving in the flaws and noise of raw images happens to add a nice stylistic touch to the overall feeling of the film. The nature of multiple images taken by the spacecraft often with large and small gaps in time coincidentally makes some engaging jumpy into smooth segments.

The Plumes of Enceladus

Back and front lit plumes This is the best lit image taken of the plumes of Enceladus thus far by Cassini. The moon is lit from the front by Saturnshine and the plumes are being back-lit by the Sun directly behind. A perfect alignment for revealing active geysers on a small moon.

Saturn Still Images Come to Life

If you haven’t followed the work of Stephen v2 and his film “Outside In”, you might want to take a look at what he has in store for us. Using only still images from the Cassini mission, Stephen is making a very impressive tour of the Saturn system without using any CGI, 3D models or textures. While those techniques make great Hollywood films they often fall short of making something that is actually a real place… look real. See below for a very brief clip of how this all ends up looking with a much better and longer clip coming in the near future.

from New "Outside In" clip teaser from stephen v2 on Vimeo.

Ross Berens Ruins My Dreams

I had really always thought it would be so cool to do a poster set with great design for each of the planets. I actually started a design for the Cassini at Saturn mission, but have yet to complete it. Sure enough someone comes along and knocks the whole system out in one fantastic series. Beat me to it!

The funny thing about doing the whole Solar System is that you will not likely have too many takers for Uranus or even Pluto. But the design on some of these makes it pretty tempting to grab just for the overall design. I can’t wait to email Ross when New Horizons gets to Pluto and it looks nothing like what is shown here. A gorgeous inclusion of the hypothetical ring some expect to find when we get there, but where are the 3 moons?

I would be a fool to not include Saturn. The exclusion of the Galileans at Jupiter, no Charon on the Pluto poster and the absence of Titan here on the Saturn poster... I wonder if I sense a moon series coming? Put me down for a copy of Io.

Back-Burner Image: Saturn Clouds

Haven’t come across too much lately. When that happens, I like to post these images that have been sitting around collecting virtual dust. Cloud top formations on Saturn taken by Cassini in 2009.

50 Years of Space Exploration Map

This is so nice, but I am furious that I didn’t get to design this. This is Information design at it’s best naturally by National Geographic. You can see 50 years of robotic planetary exploration at a glance. It even includes failed missions represented by darker desaturated lines. As far as I can tell the cream colored lines are US and the red ones are Soviet. Interesting to see how many of those lines go dark around Mars.

Now where does one purchase such a thing? Perhaps this month’s issue of NG? Here is the link to it on their site complete with zoom viewer and them some kind samaritan posted a hires version to flickr.