planetary symbols



Here are some some video and some hi-res stills from a Space Movie I created in 2009 using the 30-day trial issue of Autodesk Maya. Just click each thumbnail. The hi-res still enlargements additionally display some little-known facts about each body.


The Space Movie

Brief Rotation Videos

Space Movie

(18 M)

Earth

Phobos

Amalthea


Mercury

Mercury (100K)


Venus

Venus (60K)


Mars & Phobos

Mars & Phobos
(100K)



Jupiter

Jupiter (100K)


Saturn

Saturn (100K)


Uranus

Uranus (70K)


Neptune

Neptune (68K)


Pluto

Pluto (68K)


Saturn & Enceladus

Saturn & Enceladus
(70K)



Saturn & mini-moons

Saturn & mini-moons
(100K)



Tethys

Tethys (70K)


Triton

Triton (70K)


Io

Io & Jupiter
(100K)



Jupiter

Amalthea & Jupiter
(100K)



Mars

Mars (100K)


Mars

Mars (100K)


Earth

Earth (80K)


Earth

Earth (110K)



Notes

My model database eventually consisted of Mercury through Pluto and those moons larger than 50 km or so or otherwise noteworthy. The latter included Deimos and Phobos for Mars, ten moons for Jupiter, sixteen for Saturn (five embedded in the outer parts of the rings), nine for Uranus, six for Neptune, and three for Pluto (namely Charon, Nix, and Hydra). While I judged Jupiter’s rings too faint to be worth attempting to show, I brightened Uranus’s and Neptune’s slightly for visibility.

Venus’s atmosphere is such a superb thermal conductor that its day and night temperatures are identical and largely unaffected even by latitude. At 460° C (860° F) the ground is hot enough to glow a dull red so I exaggerated that somewhat to show up on the night side (which in reality you wouldn’t actually be able to see through the cloud cover).

Texture map data for all of these bodies comes from widely available government sources, primarily NASA and JPL. On Pluto and Charon the gross color areas are genuine and derive from Hubble data; their finer details come from swatches I skimmed from asteroid photos. Greater fidelity for Pluto and its attendants will depend on the New Horizons flyby in 2015.

Animations and stills © 2010 Peter Blinn


Asteroid facts (I) Asteroid facts (II) Martian curiosities


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