Discover’s Best of Amateur Imagers

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.


Having followed the activities of a small army of freelance space imagers that lurk in various places on the internet for about 10 years now — it is truly unusual for me to come across images that I know I have not seen before. Michael Benson’s exhibit titled, “Planetfall” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science offers offer fresh views from missions as old as Viking and as new as Cassini. What originally caught my attention was an image of an actively spewing Enceladus that is exposed in both Sun and Saturn shine — a view I have surely seen before, but never so detailed or dramatic. Even more surprising and rare is a new global composite view of Uranus with a complete and continuous ring taken by Voyager almost 30 years ago.

The show ends soon (June 28, 2013) and is located in Washington DC.

Dueling Enceladian Light Sources

Gordan U compiled this image of Enceladus lit both by Sun and Saturnshine. The side lit by reflected light from Saturn is in infrared and in the original appeared in a green hue. I took some liberties and imaged it as I would imagine it really would appear to the eye in Saturn’s more orange/yellow hues.

Worth noting tomorrow the images are due in from Cassini’s closest approach yet through its plumes. Hoping for some amazing material.

Mariner 10 Re-Imaging of Venus

Been meaning to catch up on a few odds and ends lying around. This image of Venus was re-worked from Mariner 10 images by Mattias Malmer somewhere around 2005. It is an attempt at showing Venus in natural light and is far better than the version previously used as our “portrait” image for Venus. The issue is that Mariner 10 images only allow one to do that by taking some liberties with UV data. According to Malmer, “I think that if I were to make an even blander version of the this image it would be close enough to reality”.

See the original 2005 post on where you can get this image at 4000x4000 resolution. Time for a wallpaper update.

MAD Infrared Jupiter Image

Jupiter in infrared light “Jupiter in infrared light, taken on the night of 17 August 2008 with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics Demonstrator (MAD) prototype instrument mounted on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. This false colour photo is the combination of a series of images taken over a time span of about 20 minutes, through three different filters (2, 2.14, and 2.16 microns).”

See Centauri Dreams for more.

Titan Descent in Stages

Titan Descent Images Best compilation of Titan colorized descent images I have seen yet from NASA. I do suspect the actual color of Titan - on the ground - would look less metallic than these do. All the color seen here is based upon educated guesses and applied over the black and white images returned by Huygens. There were no real color images taken by Huygens during descent.

I plan to do a long post on some amazing renders made for an Italian magazine based upon actual imagery and data… but I am so busy these days. It will go up eventually.

Phobos as Seen by MRO

Phobos from MRO This is a semi-false color image as explained on NASA’s site, “The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image of the larger of Mars' two moons, Phobos… on March 23, 2008. Taken from a distance of about 6,800 kilometers (about 4,200 miles). It is presented in color by combining data from the camera's blue-green, red, and near-infrared channels”.

So there is some exaggeration of color here by including the infrared. I am guessing that is what is making the contrast between the reddish hues and those whitish marking at the edge of Stickney Crater. Click to see the hi-res… this may be the sharpest most detailed of Phobos I have seen yet.

Full Disk Rhea

Rhea composite from infrared, ultraviolet and green filters Rhea composite from infrared, ultraviolet and green filters. So it’s not technically true color… but I adjusted it a touch to make it more natural. However, I must admit that having never actually been to Rhea myself… it’s an educated guess. Seems a bit blue.

New Horizons Opens its Vault

Jupiter, Io and Ganymede From New Horizons by Gordan Ugarkovic The New Horizons team has made all the MVIC (Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera) images as well as the LORRI (Long Range Reconnaissance Imager) images from the Jupiter encounter available for imagers to kick around. The above image is by Gordan Ugarkovic and is apparently a “colorized” version of a monochrome he created using earth based observations of the planet from around the same time. In addition to the two moons (and a shadow), also visible are both the Great Red Spot as well as the “Red Junior” spot which has in recent months has become a new notable feature of Jupiter.