Aliens and the Alcon Blue Butterfly

Aliens and the Alcon Blue Butterfly

First off a heavy disclaimer here: This post is based upon segments from a chapter of Jim Al-Khalili’s recent book ‘Science Asks: Is There Anybody Out There?’ (2016).

The publication is a spellbinding compendium that summarises the bleeding edge of science’s rapidly evolving hunt for extraterrestrial life and includes contributions from 20 expert minds, each at the vanguard of there respective fields.

If you’re even slightly interested in the scientific approach to ET this simply is a must-read, and offers both tantalising and tangible solutions to one of humanity’s greatest questions – Are we alone in the universe?

Adam Makarenko – Exoplanets & Interview

Sci-Fi-O-Rama resurrects with a very special feature on Canadian miniature Photographer and Film Maker Adam Makarenko.

An award-winning multi-talented Artist Adam’s obviously involved with a plethora of supremely interesting visual projects, but it’s his outrageously ambitious ‘exoplanets’ mission we focus in on.

Adam Makarenko Exoplanet

Exoplanets, of course, are rarely out of the news these and the science to hunt them has come along way since the first definitive detection back in 1995 (Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva). Fast forward 22 years and as of the start of April 2017 confirmed exoplanets number over 3,500 and range from huge gas giants right down to worlds a similar size to our own precious Earth.

Just how earth like are these worlds, and are they suitable for life ? These are the tantalising questions cosmologists and biologists face today. To answer is a mammoth technical challenge, not unlike Adam’s endeavour to experiment and construct his vision of these far flung worlds in miniature.

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

Above: A still from The Last Starfighter (1984) this ‘Gunstar’ model is comprised of almost 400,000 Polygons, this was four times more than had ever been attempted with any other computer generated model and each frame took 5 minutes or more to render on the most powerful computer available, a Cray X-MP.

So a little more about ‘Creative Computer Graphics’, this was then, I presume,

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 casebook, and that’s the focus of this post. Many thanks to Craig for the temporary loan!

The first thing that strikes when flicking through ‘To The Moon’ is the muted palette and hues of the colour photography. Bathed in a loving technicolour warmth, the imagery empowers the feeling of not just peering into the past, but through into another world, like suddenly everything could spring to life. What’s also unusual is the obscure nature or relative rarity of content, as you might expect in running and researching this blog I’ve mined many resources from this period, but scanning here presented gem after perfectly preserved gem.

A quick disclaimer on the scans, I’ve tried my best to match the tones of the book, but

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 are 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

North American X15

The Man Who Fell to Earth


Kelly Freas - Rhapsody in black

Micheal Whelan Spring

Ok so once again apologise 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 Mac OSX time machine and a sling) so I’m going to start off with an easy post, another Flickr favourite round up, here are 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)