Whoa. Saturn, Man.

Gakked from here. Put together by this dude.

I’ll remind people that I once did my own thing with Cassini mission data. Find it here.

18 Comments on “Whoa. Saturn, Man.”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Saw that this AM. Pretty amazing. It reminds me of the video for “Mea Culpa” from the eno/Byrne collaboration “my life in the bush of ghosts.” also the music remindse of the “Moon” soundtrack. File under creepy & cool.

  2. I had to stop watching the video after maybe a minute. I have epilepsy, and the images or lighting (sometimes both) were strobing too fast. Rapid strobing is a major seizure trigger for me.

    Glad everyone else seems to have enjoyed it, though!


  3. I think Mr. Kubrick would approve.

    For those who didn’t get it, the “Cassini Mission” title card was exactly like the title cards in Kubrick’s 2001.

  4. I think this’ll go down as one of the most gorgeous missions in the history of space exploration, at least until we manage to get a probe into, say, the Orion Nebula or something like that. Thanks for passing it on!

  5. @#7 Chris Gladis:

    M42, a/k/a the Orion Nebula, is roughly 1350 light years away from Earth. I hope that Futurama’s hibernation capsules both work and are not tended by Bender and Fry.

  6. Really cool. I presume it’s not raw data, which makes me think of Galileo with his telescopes. He had to work out what it was he was actually seeing before he could begin to work out what its significance was.

  7. Several years ago, National Public Radio played the audio file of sounds. I was thrilled to see the link for it on John’s page “Saturn Speaks, on the human hearing range link.

    But…”Firefox can’t find the server at saturn.jpl.nasa.gov.”

    Can anyone else provide directions to the human-audible version of the sounds?

  8. Wow, that was slightly creepy (in a really good way). Beautiful too. Really made me feel the epic-ness of space around me; I love that feeling.


  9. @Jonathan Walker: It’s made from pictures off the Cassini raw images pages, which are raw data auto-converted into JPEGs by a relatively crude algorithm. Presumably the maker of the animation did a lot of work to get the images in the frames to line up correctly, but it looks like there’s been relatively little processing apart from that. The things people have been complaining about in comments as intrusive After Effects noodling (the donut-shaped spots, alternate-scanline dropouts, stray light reflections and flares, etc.) are actually artifacts present in the raw images.

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