Space the finale frontier…… Well that’s what some say. I have always been interested in space, my wife says it is because I am a bit of a nerd. I love images of exploding stars, nebulae and plants sat still in a an ocean of stars.
Few people for the foreseeable future will have the opportunity to venture to the stars, the closest we can get now is a aeroplane that will take you to the outer atmosphere for a price that most would never be able to afford. The photographic images NASA make can appease those of us who want to step foot on another planet.
I didn’t get excited when the new Mars Rover took off on its journey to Mars. I was excited when it landed (I always found the hype in the take-off and then failure in landing of these rovers so I try and control myself).
The first pictures sent back were black and white. These images shatter the expectations and ground into us the reality of what Mars looks like.
This is an excellent example of what our expectations are for space. The picture shows a wide landscape with a gradated sky and a planet rising like our moons over the sky. The features we draw are those that we know. The Canyon could well be the grand canyon except for its red tone. The artistic toning of mars is strange, either it is very red like the Eyries rock in Australia or more orange as in the picture below
The reality for some maybe disappointing, shattering the Hollywood mars tinted glasses. The images are still amazing, taken on the land of a planet which is not earth.
The landscape is alien compared to the expectations we anticipated. The black and white images show a smooth surface rising gradually. The mountain in the back ground is mount Sharpe and is about 12 miles from the rover. The images are for scientific use first and secondly aesthetic. I would presume the NASA team have control of the camera so the composition is human made.
The colour images though have a bit more of an artistic touch. The colouring of the image above was done simulating lighting conditions on earth to help analyse the terrain. The image is a section of a larger image taken on the rovers 100mm camera. The image resolution seems to be less but it does go a way to show that the colours of mars are slightly muted when adapted to earths lighting conditions. The red is not a high contrasted and saturated colour as we expect, but a more pastel yellow orange merging into red with added tones of blue in the shadows.
To see a large scale version of the image click here
In the end though which images of space do we like. I think although it is with great scientific achievement that we have managed to send man to the moon and have landed probes and rovers of celestial bodies these images inhibit our imagination. When I know in my life time I will not be able to bounce around on the moon or fly a spaceship round the sun, my imagination can create the images for me.
I created the above image using Google Sketch Up for the model and Photoshop to paint it and create the background. The image is a science fiction fantasy.