krpalmer: (europa)
[personal profile] krpalmer
The full dataset from New Horizon's Pluto encounter is data-linking back, and even at speeds reminiscent of dial-up modems from the 1980s, or the Galileo mission with its faulty main antenna, there are some interesting pictures coming in. Some of the first ones I saw in the new set looked to have quite a few craters in them at last, even if still juxtaposed against the smoother and fresher plains of ices more exotic and cryogenic than water that first caught my eyes. One that showed up just a little later, though, was more purely "dramatic," and after a little while I started trying to articulate why.

 photo pluto_horizon_zpsevrkoag1.jpg

The rugged mountains were one thing, even if I wonder if they might look as smooth closer up as the moon's meteor-blasted terrain turned out to be after all those years of artists not thinking things other than "atmosphere" could wear things down. More than that, though, it was the rounded horizon of a world where mountains can stand comparatively higher than our own that wound up putting things together. I found myself thinking of warnings that "the vertical scale is exaggerated," and of old-fashioned planet models in science fiction movies and the like. That got me remembering a picture from New Horizon's Jupiter flyby I had decided could be taken to look like Star Wars itself and turned into a journal icon. If the resemblance is non-specific this time around, that just might make it seem more "itself."

September 2017

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