Gorgeous planet art

The entire universe in blog form
Aug. 15 2011 10:25 AM

Gorgeous planet art

I'm always comparing astronomy to art, and sometimes that's literally true, like when artist David Fuhrer creates amazing near-3D images of the planets:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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That's very cool, and even niftier, they're to scale! The colors aren't real -- the image of Venus (next to Earth) he used is from radar mapping of the planet from the Magellan spacecraft, and Mercury (second from left) is actually a relatively uniform grey -- but this really gives you a sense of the innermost terrestrial planets (and one bonus Moon -- ours, all the way on the left in that image).

I also really like his depiction of Saturn. It makes me wish this were a real objet d'art; I'd love one for my living room.

You should also check out this family portrait of all the planets together -- man, Jupiter and Saturn are way bigger even than Uranus and Neptune!

These images were created for a TV documentary, and I've filed David's name away if I ever need it for something like this. He has other cool images, too. Digital imagery is really amazing, and I wonder how many people have been introduced to art -- both the creation and appreciation of it -- due to its advent?

Images used by permission of David Fuhrer. Tip o' the electron to srahhh on Twitter.