May 19th, 2013
Two spectacularly colourful images: one looking up into the sky, the other one looking down from space:
Like all Mars Global Surveyor shots, these are views of the Red Planet from orbit. What's different here is the highly oblique angle of these images. In each, the powerful Mars Observer Camera is not oriented straight down for maximum resolution, but off toward the horizon.
The result is a set of views that make me think of what it might be like to be at Mars, flying over the planet in person, looking out the window. Be sure to enlarge them, and see if you enjoy them as much as I did.
I reckon the image of Olympus Mons is my favourite, just because it emphasises the sheer scale of the thing.
I know the various space agencies have to choose the sites where they land their probes so as to maximise both the chances of a successful landing and the amount of useful science they can do in their limited lifespan, but it'd be nice if at some point in the future someone could contrive to bring down a lander somewhere near the peak of Olympus Mons. The view from up there across the planet's surface would be a sight to see.
WTF, Evolution? (a.k.a. nightmare fuel.)
… or …
[Via Schneier on Security]
John Naughton's Shards B&W:
Best viewed as big as possible.
Artist Jim Kazanjian produced a series of photographs of imaginary houses, carefully assembled by matching up snippets of images of real houses to make something much weirder.
There are definitely untold stories behind those houses. Perhaps best left untold in some cases.
This picture of ship tracks off North America isn't at all what I thought from the title when it popped up in my feed reader. They're not 'tracks' as in a bow wave1, but the trails of clouds that form because of the trail of aerosols – be it exhaust fumes or just desert dust – that a ship leaves behind it.
There's also a rather nice animation showing almost 12 hours-worth of the tracks' movement.
Florian Breuer's Quiver Trees By Night 2 makes for one spectacular image of the night sky over Namibia.
For what it's worth, I prefer the pre-photoshop version of the shot that he revealed in this post discussing how he produced the final image. The tweaked version is more striking, but it's not as if the unedited image is less than breathtaking.
[Via Bad Astronomy]
I found #48 particularly striking – surreal, even.
[Via The Browser]
If you can get to the end of this image gallery without wincing at least once then you're a better man than I. Or, possibly, you're a replicant.