Creative Computer Graphics (1984)

Some original material here, as scanned from ‘Creative Computer Graphics’ (Cambridge University Press, 1984) this one I came across whilst searching through the Google Books archives, and intrigued I decided to order a hard copy. Google Books by the was is well worth a look, countless printed publications are logged and categorized dating from recent to way back. Most modern titles are subject to copyright so show just a selection of internal pages, but this is plenty to gain a flavour and if you have 10 mins to burn, I highly recommend a trawl through.

Creative Computer Graphics  - The Last Starfighter

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To The Moon (Time-Life Records)

To The Moon - Time Life Records

Something of a special feature here, original photography scanned from the breathtakingly beautiful ‘To The Moon’ (Time-Life 1969) an audio and visual chronology that documents NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and (of course) Apollo projects. ‘To The Moon’ includes 6 doubled sided 12″ Vinyl’s full of famous radio transmissions and interviews, plus an accompanying 190 page slip case book, and that’s the focus of this post. Many thanks to Craig for the temporary loan!

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2010 Cassini Orbiter Gallery

Cassini Saturn Photography

Cassini Saturn Photography

Cassini Saturn Photography

Cassini Saturn Photography

Cassini - Saturn Gallery

Spotted this breathtaking selection of abstract space photography earlier today and thought it’d make a good meander to the flow of the blog…

This post then is something of an expanded retweet which I first saw linked via We Are Build’s Twitter feed The full article comes via Wired Magazine and that’s where you can see a complete set of 12 images. Here’s my thoughts and notes on the selected imagery…

All 5 photographs have been taken this year by NASA’s enduring Cassini probe which started it’s long mission to Saturn and it’s many moons back in 1997. Cassini–Huygens was developed as a twin NASA/ESA venture, with NASA constructing the Orbiter and the Europeans building the Huygens Probe (lander) which touched down on the surface of Titan (Saturn’s largest moon) on January 14th, 2005 transmitting data (via Cassini) back to earth for 90 minutes. Whilst not without some glitches both probes have been a phenomenal success making many significant discoveries such as confirming the existence of liquid hydrocarbon lakes, cryovolcanoes and mysterious “spokes” in Saturn’s rings, plus with plans to potentially run Cassini through to 2017 there is of course scope for learning so much more…

Top Image: The Icy moon of Tethys in silent transit around the enourmous gas giant. Tethys is just one of sixty two discovered Moons in orbit of Saturn.

2nd Image: The moons of Rhea (large in frame) and Epimetheus, despite the deceiving appearance these moons are in fact 250,000 miles apart. Rhea with a diameter of of 946 miles is Saturn’s second largest moon whilst at just 70miles across Epimetheus ranks 16th largest.

3rd Image: The dark side of Saturn cast’s a long heavy shadow across it’s rings – stunning! – the aforementioned moon of Thetys can be seen top right whilst Enceladus spins away bottom right.

4th Image: Perpetual storms on Saturn can feature wind speeds in access of 1000 mph and can be interspersed with violent cracks of lighting, amazingly Cassini managed to capture this phenomenon on film, check it out. Though unimaginably fast Saturn’s wind speeds are in fact trumped by those of far flung Neptune which can clock over 1300mph!

Bottom: Dione (Saturns 15th largest moon) is dwarfed by the looming Titan. Titan appears yellow in colour and is the only moon known too have a dense atmosphere, consisting of 98.4% Nitrogen with Methane making up the remainder… possibly not a holiday spot then.


As I mentioned do check the full post at Wired for another 7 images, or indeed try the NASA source.

Flickr Round Up (2) Aug 10

North American X15

The Man Who Fell to Earth


Kelly Freas - Rhapsody in black

Micheal Whelan Spring

Ok so once again apologies for the sparse activity on Sci-Fi-O-Rama, legitimate excuses this time – broken shoulder via downhill mountain biking then stolen Mac Book Pro via little scumbags! Anyway all up and running again (thanks to time machine and a sling) so I’m going to start off with an easy post, another Flickr favourite round up, here’s the notes on the images…

Top: “North American X-15” – A superb painting of the legendary late 50’s experimental Rocket/Space plane, which at Mach 6.72 still hold the record for the fastest manned flight… Well worth reading a bit more about: Here’s an additional link to an amazing photograph that shows the X15 slung under a B52 wing (from which it was launched) …the Cold War did have it’s perks… Not sure of the artist here so please post if you now more, Illustration via X-Ray Delta One

2nd Top “The Man Who Fell to Earth” – a subtle composition and unusual Gothic display font make up this interesting jacket for the 1963 Walter Tevis SF novel that was adapted to the big screen (starring David Bowie) by Nicholas Roeg in 1976. The covers tattered quality lends that extra finishing coat of charm. via Curly-Wurly

3rd Top “Los amos del tiempo” (The Masters of Time) – Another feature for one of my favourite artist’s listed here, Horacio Salinas Blanch, this cover with it’s ultra vivid palette typifies his work, such a great style… Art via C. Rancio

4th Top “Rhapsody in Black” – A beautiful enchantress takes prominence in this haunting book cover by late American SF Illustrator Maestro Kelly Freas. Illustration via mystique123_2000 – a wonderful photostream.

Bottom: “Spring” This final image is a sister piece to something I posted almost two years ago, exuberant flamboyance from Michael Whelan. Illustration via Flickr user Fantasy.Gallery also check Michael Whelan’s portfolio at:

More updates soon…

Nasa 1172 Pictures

Nasa 1172

Nasa 1172

Nasa 1172

Nasa 1172

Nasa 1172

Nasa 1172

Sci-Fi-O-Rama reader and fellow blogger Parker Mason got in touch this week with a link to his recently created, mammoth-sized Flickr Gallery “Nasa 1172”. Literally translated that’s 1172 incredible images of Nasa’s manned and robotic endeavors in the exploration of space. As you can imagine with over 1000 shot’s there’s plenty of variety, I’ve concentrated on picking a small selection of video graphics and diagrammatic Illustrations. Some notes then on the chosen images:

Top: Not exactly sure which Probe/Satellite this is – If you know please post a comment.

2nd Top: I’m guessing this captioned Illustration shows how a comet’s tail starts to form on approach toward the inner solar system.

3rd Top: A diagram showing the voyage of “Ulysses” a joint NASA/ESA probe launched back in 1990.

Bottom 3: These Images I believe are all stills from a 80’s NASA Computer animation showing the trajectory and approach of Voyager 2 to Uranus in 1986. I can’t seem to find the complete clip on youtube, which is a shame because I remember the animation looks really cool as the craft spins over on flyby – anyway here’s a sample of similar footage:

See the full gallery at: also check Parker @ Nineteen Ninety Never and

McMurdo Station Antarctica

Sunset at Mcmurdo Station

Ok so something of a different post – real world – a 21st century frontier town glowing in Antarctic twilight.

This photograph is of Antarctica’s largest settlement & it’s logistical hub, the US administered “McMurdo Station” at it’s peak home to over 1,200 residents…

I picked this image for a couple of reasons, firstly because anything to do with the icy wastes of Antarctica fascinates me! and secondly because it looks very much like a recently “terraformed” world in the mould of a certain James Cameron film….

Also of note, that is an active volcano in the background; the 3,794 meters high Mount Erebus here’s another excellent shot that gives a real sense of it’s mass the nearby neighboring New Zealand research station “Scott Base” (seen on right) is approx 3 miles from McMurdo…

Read more about McMurdo at Wikipedia: Photo is via the National Science Foundation

Full Moon (1)

Full Moon

Full Moon

Full Moon

Two scans from the 1999 300mm squared Hardcover Publication “Full Moon” a photographic odyssey to the Moon and back, featuring a selection of 128 images, just a fraction of NASA’s 32,000 pictures from the Apollo Missions. Full Moon is a superb coffee table book brimming with simply breathtaking shots documenting arguably mankind’s greatest ever achievement, no detail is spared: blast off, rocket separation, crater vistas, earthrise, moon buggies, remote cameras… etc etc right through to splash down. If you have even a casual interest in space then this is a must read, available on here:

Details on the featured images…

Top: Apollo 15; Dave Scott manipulates collection tongs at Spur Crater – Photo: Hassleblad 70mm Black and White Negative by Jim Irwin, August 1971

Middle: Apollo 12, Alan Bean at Sharp Crater – Photo: Hassleblad 70mm Black and White Negative by Charles Conrad, Novemeber 1969

Bottom: The Sahara desert at the orbital altitude of 200 miles, this circular feature is “Irdehan Marzuq” located in Libya Photo: Hassleblad 70mm Transparancey by Richard Gordon, Gemini 11 Sept 1966

Antonio Petruccelli (1) The Solar Furnace

Antonio Petruccelli - Sun Cutaway

I recently picked up some semi-vintage Scientific/Natural History Books that belonged to my late uncle, loads of superb stuff that I’ll be posting over the course of the rest of the year…

Onto the first scan then – this amazing image is taken from the 1970 edition of the Time-Life International book “The Universe” and is by an artist I’d not come across before, Italian American Antonio Petruccelli (1907-1994) born in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Alas I’ve had to crop this as the painting covers the spread, it really has to be seen to be believed the colours are something else, and I’ve done my best to keep them intact here….

A snippet from the Illustrations accompanying text: “A Close look at the Solar Furnace”

The Sun’s vast sphere, 864,000 miles in diameter contains 335 billion cubic miles of violently hot gasses that weigh more than 2,000 quadrillion tons. Direct study can probe no deeper than the sun’s double atmosphere (the tenuous outer corona and the shallow, inner chromosphere) and it’s surface skin (the photosphere), because only the energy from these two zones reaches the earth after a 93-million mile journey  in the form of visible light or invisible radiation. Yet the density, temperature and composistion of gasses in the suns’s hidden interior have been calculated, and astrophysicists know the nuclear processes that make them burn…

Antonio Petruccelli was an extremely versatile Illustrator, a very capable space artist just one of his attributes – read a bit more about him at

NSF (1) – Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

A selection of five galactic vista’s featuring the phenomenon ‘Aurora Australis‘ dancing high above the South Pole Telescope at Amundsen-Scott Station, Antarctica.

The Aurora Australis is the Southern Hemispherical equivalent of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Auroras occur when Solar Wind carrying charged particles from the Sun enter the upper atmosphere and are accelerated through Earth’s magnetic field. The Southern lights are less witnessed than there Northern counterpart, mainly due to the fact there’s much less inhabited land at high southern latitudes.

Read more about Auroras here:

The Photo’s are taken from the National Science Foundation (NSF) website’s multimedia gallery which is fantastic source of high res imagery, from Galactic Panorama’s to renderings of Computational Fluid Dynamics – suffice to say there’s some pretty trippy stuff, well worth a look:

Photography by Keith Vanderlinde, National Science Foundation / U.S. Antarctic Program. Hi-Res versions of these shots are at: