Guest of a seventh planet.

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Guest of a seventh planet.
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As of 2016, seventh planet from the sun named Uranus has been visited by only one spacecraft. The same story with Neptune and double dwarf planet Pluto-Charon. And that was just a flyby visits. It's like to have a glance to remarkable place out of the car window on high speed, only once in the life. Those planets are just too far even for robotic probes. Voyager II, which was our only ambassador to Uranus, used opportune position of the planets which occur every 175 years. If thermonuclear engine will become reality some day, still it wold take years to reach Uranus. As for manned flight - just forget it. Not within your lifetime. Remember The Martian movie, there was 1,5-year flight to Mars and back. Now, let's multiple distance (and time) almost 47 times. That's a difference between shortest distance to Mars and shortest distance to Uranus. Even light and radiowaves need 2,5 hours to reach Uranus while they hit our Moon just in second. There's a chance to our grandchildren, if they would make warp-engine or something. Anyway, Uranus is so exceptional planet, so interesting for science, it just asking for a second visit, for the next automatic probe. NASA already have it in plans, meet Uranus Orbiter! Orbiter - it means, that it will stay in the system of Uranis for a while. It's like to live in the apartments with a nice view on aforementioned remarkable place for a year or so. Also it's a complex challenge for engineers and a big load for NASA budget. They have to accelerate the probe to high speed to let it pass unimaginable distance for reasonable 10-15 years (probes can withstand bigger overloads than living people) and slow it down on approach to Uranus, because the planet can't stop such a fast spacecraft by gravitational pull. So you can expect possible delays, simplifications and even cancellation of this project.

I am aware of this, because I keep tracking news of space science. As an amateur of course. I started one day, when I realized that I can't remember order of the planets of our Solar system. It touched me, because they're closest neighbors of the Earth, they're so interesting! I thought: I have read nice books about space in my childhood, and where this all now? So from that point I began to learn, I do it for 11 years already. Almost 10 of them was spent in awaiting of New Horizons reaching Pluto-Charon system. Now, when amazing pictures and intriguing data from this probe become part of our knowledge, there's new challenges, including returning to Uranus. We'll have to wait much longer, because Uranus Orbiter is on planning stage. So I decided to give free rein to my imagination and made my first space artwork. There is a view from crumpled surface of Miranda on distant Sun and Uranus with shining aurora polaris, faint ring system, smaller moons Mab, Belinda and Portia, stars (take a look on HD wallpaper version to see more) and small point of the spacecraft. What's Miranda? It's one of major moons (nearly 500 km) of Uranus, deformed by some ancient catastrophe. It's unusual and nice. Well-known motivating short movie Wanderers contain a scene with astronaut jumping from multikilometer cliff on Miranda.

I sacrificed by full realism for candy-box beauty:



Shortly speaking, I just tried to make nice picture without violating scientifical facts too much.

Also, this work is a little dedication to hard working enthusiasts of space explorations like Carolyn Porco, Rob Zubrin, Boris Chertok, Alexander Basilevsky, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, Bruce Murray, Alan Stern, Revmira Pryadchenko, Ed Stone, Gary Flandro, Brad Smith and many others.

Thanks to astrophysicist Sergey Popov and astronomer Jury Solomonov for blitz answers which kept me from violating scientifical facts too much.

You can dream up a little, looking at the picture and listening track Cisfinitum - Landschaft I.

Or you can stop dreaming and take more sceptic look on more reliable version.

Date: August 2016.
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26 декабря 2016, 22:54
Хотелось как всегда а получилось неплохо. Хотя Уран лучше было "слизать" с астрофото. Да и поверхность спутника похожа больше на кошмар из фентезийного фильма. Но и тем не менее из 5 4+. Да кстати след от аппарата это что вход в атмосферу, реактивная струя или нечто иное? Мало кто сейчас делает подобное.
Reply:
С тем же успехом его можно "слизывать" с шарика для настольного тенниса. =) Или с рендера идеальной сферы в 3D-редакторе. На более активный вид в другие сезоны указывает ряд снимков с Хаббла и с наземных телескопов, но снимки эти конечно же очень размытые, большинство в условных цветах или вовсе в инфракрасном спектре, так что был повод нарисовать его не таким, каким он был во время пролёта Вояджера, но нет и пока не предвидится астрофото в видимых цветах и достаточно высокого разрешения, которые можно было бы взять и срисовать. Приходится интерпретировать, додумывать. Быть может, додумывал уж слишком вольно, за что меня один товарищ уже покритиковал и сподвигнул сделать более сдержанную версию. Там и планета ближе к фото с Вояджера и поверхность спутника меньше похожа на кадры из фильма Армагеддон с Уиллисом. =)

Что до следа, аппарат мог быть принятым за ещё одну звезду или спутник и потеряться на картинке. Был выбор либо делать его крупнее (отчего теряется масштабность сцены сразу), либо наметить след, который мог бы образоваться из-за выдержки воображаемого фото. Если же удобнее представлять рисунок наблюдением условного космонавта, то след можно списать на эпизодическую работу маневрового движка. След в атмосфере невозможен, Миранда лишена её практически совсем.