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An Astronomical Acid Trip
July 22, 2013 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Enjoy 200,000 images of Saturn, its rings and moons taken by NASA's Cassini over 8 years compressed into 4 minutes of video.
posted by gottabefunky (23 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
They left out the best part!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:16 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Saturn and Beyond the Infinite.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on July 22, 2013


This video might have some of the more recent data, but I gotta say I prefer the mood of the original.
posted by rlk at 10:35 AM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Two things:
1) I did not know Saturn was directed by Kubrick
2) I think I need to go throw up now, excuse me
posted by phunniemee at 10:38 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Put me in a state of awe. Thank you so much for this post.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:49 AM on July 22, 2013


Just in case you were looking for more of this, there's now a trailer for the upcoming Cosmos revival.
posted by schmod at 10:50 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Stunning.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:52 AM on July 22, 2013


I want to go there and watch it without the time delay, and in color.

And popcorn. Oh, and violas.

Can't get enough.
posted by mule98J at 10:57 AM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


We should send out many more such probes.... the world can go to hell in a handbasket and it wouldn't matter if somewhere out there in the Universe there was a probe taking pretty pictures and listening to Shostakovich.

Beautiful!
posted by foleypt at 11:02 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want to go there and watch it without the time delay, and in color.

Wait, I thought that was in color?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:14 AM on July 22, 2013


Also recently seen here...
posted by Red Loop at 12:33 PM on July 22, 2013


Here's another movie made from the Cassini footage that I'll see when it hits IMAX next year.
posted by Hubajube at 12:33 PM on July 22, 2013


Needs a soundtrack by aphex twin.
posted by chillmost at 1:08 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Behold the Earth and Moon – as seen from Saturn
posted by homunculus at 1:32 PM on July 22, 2013


Needs a soundtrack by aphex twin.

Best played with the Saturn footage in full-screen
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:33 PM on July 22, 2013


The vicar2png conversion tool (code) behind Fabio Di Donato's video footage is worth a view, too. NASA apparently stores its data in a format designed back in the 1960s.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:59 PM on July 22, 2013


I'm one of the authors of vicar2png, which we wrote for another cool NASA project, the International Space Apps Challenge. Really cool to see our project being used to create art like this (and to be mentioned on the blue!)

NASA uses a variety of old image formats for their mission data, most of which are some mix of text and binary data; often mission data is in some version of PDS, which is more modern than (but very similar too) the VICAR format mentioned by Blazecock. One surprising thing about the actual image data is that it is often sent uncompressed - apparently inter-planet bandwidth is cheaper than on-spacecraft CPU and memory.
posted by Rolling Whiskey at 4:02 PM on July 22, 2013 [3 favorites]


Remember that episode of STNG where the Traveller took them eleventy jillion light years away and they were in a place of trippy glowing lights and Picard realized they were in no place that could be? This.
posted by chisel at 4:34 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really appreciate the PDS file format. It's archival and intended to be useful forever.

JPEG, TIFF, and PNG serve our needs today, but they won't always. Much like data irretrievably stuck on a 9-track tape, the complexity of these image formats means that it'll be difficult to find the facilities to read them after we've all converted over to whatever data format meets the needs of the next generation of digital media.

In contrast, PDS is human-readable text plus flat, uncompressed, raw binary. It's trivially easy to read, and if future users can't find a program to read it, they can easily write one.
posted by rlk at 4:59 PM on July 22, 2013


Saturn and Beyond the Infinite.

----------

1) I did not know Saturn was directed by Kubrick

----------

Kubrick and Clarke always intended for Discovery's destination to be Saturn, but their resident Visual Effects Wizard, Douglas Trumbull, and the rest of the SFX staff had trouble getting the rings to look convincing.

Eventually, Kubrick changed the destination in the script to Jupiter, but Trumbull wouldn't let the challenge go, working on the visual effects technology on his own, which lead directly to the film Silent Running.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:20 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


See, NASA just needs to show this clip at Congressional budget hearings, and say "This".
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:48 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, I thought that was in color? posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot

What? .....K.

Jupiter then.
posted by mule98J at 6:50 PM on July 22, 2013


Is There A Giant Life Form Lurking In Our Solar System? Possibly, Say Scientists
posted by homunculus at 4:26 PM on August 14, 2013


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