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The Solar System Brought To Life With Captured Moving Images And Computer Generated Video

Here is a page i've been just itching to get online and make public.

The prospects for this section of the site are very exciting. There's nothing quite like moving pictures to get across amazing details of the solar system.

I feature so many pictures from the Mars Rovers on this site, which i find very interesting to look at, but the time lapse movies i've put together here really bring the mission to life. It truly is amazing to actualy see the little Martian robots at work on the red planet.

These pages will also make it possible for me to show some of the Computer animations i've worked on. They tend to get put away and forgotten, so now and again you'll see them appear here, as with the Jupiter movie. Which was inspired by the flight through the Jupiter system recently by the New Horizon's space craft. 

There are many avenues open to me when presenting video content. So expect to see a regularly updated video section. I cannot tell you everything to expect here, because there is probably stuff i have not even thought about yet, i could be inspired by a space mision, or some new software will come out and make something possible.

I hope you enjoy these movies. I also hope to continue to bring you bigger, better, and more spectacular views of the solar system over the weeks and months to come.

 

Cassini's Moon Views - DVD Preview


This is really a preview of a much larger project, a DVD produced for the web community over at Space.Com

This is a quick look at some of the Moons of Saturn. In an animated slide show.

The overall project will see a similar feature on every major space mission and space telescope. As well as input and content worked on by members of the Space.Com community.

Jupiter Approach - New Horizons

This is a time lapse movie using LORRI images taken over several days as the New Horizons space craft approached the giant planet.

Spirit - The First 50 Martian Sols ( Days )


The Spirit Mars Rover's first 50 days are featured in this time lapse movie. You'll see the rover exploring inside the huge "Gusev" crater,examining the many rocks and features which littered its landing site.

Opportunity - The First 50 Sols On Mars


The Opportunity Rover can be seen here as it works its way around "Eagle Crater" The small landing spot which the lander roled into with its air bags inflated.

If you look carefully on the video you can see the "foot prints" left as the air backs slammed into the martian surface. These and many other fascinating features litter the Opportunity landing zone. Making for a great time lapse sequence.

Flying Through The Jupiter System


A 3d computer animation which i put together after being inspired by the New Horizon's Pluto probes fly past of Jupiter.

All the textures used on Jupiter and its moons are taken from real NASA/JPL images gathered by previous space probes which have visited the planet.

On show here are Ganymede ( the largest moon in the solar system ) , Europa ( Jupiter's icy moon ) , Io ( the volcanic world of sulphur ) , and Jupiter itself.

Images used for textures were actualy from the NASA/JPL Galileo probe for the moons. NASA's Cassini space craft imagery was used for the Jupiter detail.

The Lakes Of Titan


Fly over the terrain of Saturn's moon Titan. Using Terragen software, and a plugin for the title called Terra anim. I was able to convert data gathered from NASA's Cassini space craft in orbit of Saturn as it did a close fly past of the giant cloud covered moon. To produce this computer generated fly over.

Cassini, using its RADAR imaging was able to penatrate Titan's clouds and capture images. It is infact still gathering valuable data on Titan. Producing what will be a stunning map of this mysterious world.

Cassini has shown us that Titan has weather systems, seas, lakes, and rivers. So, here is a flight across an alien land scape. Titan.

A Trek To Saturn


A bit of fun here ( Don't tell anybody, as well as being an astronomy nerd, i'm a Trek/Sci Fi geek too! Shock! Horror! ). But, with some real science thrown in. I made these computer animations quite some time back. I was, and still am infact, learning how to animate on my PC. But, i thought i would upload this for you to see, as it has some cool starships, and some magnificient views of Mercury, Venus, Earth/Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Seen here with some of it's many moons.

I did some of the textures and backgrounds here myself. Those at Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. Others come from the free software Celestia ( an astronomy / planetarium / animating program. ).

I must also thank anybody involved with the now finished Australian Star Trek 3d modelling web site. I got all the space ship models i animated from them. I would have liked to give credit to you guys but all records of your work have gone along with the site.

And of course, huge thanks must go to NASA/JPL for the always stunning space image data.

Saturn's Moons

Here are three animations made up from real images taken by the Cassini probe at Saturn. They show the moon Enceladus centred in the first animation, and being passed behind by another large moon in the second sequence. The third is a stunning view of Enceladus rising from behind Saturn, as its shadow falls against the rings.

It's interesting to watch Saurns rings here, as they waver during the animation.

Mars Rover Compilation Vol.1

Following on from the two "First 50 days" Mars Rover video's. Here's a compilation movie. In no particular date order, and not divided into individual robot rovers activity either.

It does centre on the Opportunity rover more, the Spirit Rover does put in an appearance though at the start, and at the very end, with a robot arm exploration!

There's some great sequences showing Opportunity driving around Victoria Crater's edge, and a great "wheelspin" animation from Opportunity too!

The first to scenes have really suffered from video compression, and small frame size. On my widescreen LCD TV you can clearly see dust devils ( small tornadoes ) sweeping across the plains of Gusev Crater captured by Spirit's camera's. You may have to look very carefully here to see them. My advice is, toggle the play bar back and forth, you just may catch a glimpse!

Revealing Titan

I really wish i could present these video's at high-res here. But, limitations exist. Google Video also do horrible things to every video i upload regarding quality, so i've now switched to YouTube which is slightly better.

The best i can offer is a "Link" to a free hosting solution, here you'll find a a 720x576 high resolution version in Quicktime format . ( suitable for playing on large screen TV's and all PC monitors ) Around 30MB in size.

These downloads run for a limited time, and allow only a limited amount of downloaders. E-mail me, ( address at bottom of every page of this site. ) or post in the public forums here if you find the hosting has expired, and we'll sort something out.

This movie was made from the recently released Cassini RADAR data which shows a large lake, or sea. A prominent island or peninsula is also clearly visible.

I took the RADAR image, wrapped it around a 3D sphere and then animated it from two seperate angles. There's also a slightly enhanced animated 2D view at the beginning of the video.

Why not comment on this, or any other mission or space imagery on the site message board.


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