Free screensaver for your Nook: Moon

Thought I’d make the photo I took of the Moon last week into a wallpaper/screensaver for the Nook. Because who doesn’t want to look at our lovely satellite when they pick up their e-reader? 😉 I edited it for the 16-shade grayscale of the Nook, and as always, you’re welcome to download and use it as a wallpaper; I just ask that you don’t change it or pretend you made it.

Click the image for the full size (600×800) version.

Hmm. WordPress is changing the image when I upload; the light halo is fainter in the original. It’s a tiny file so I’m not sure why WP is changing it, but hope you like it anyway. 🙂


Night sky through a compact’s lens

I’ve been meaning to try photographing the moon with my Canon G12 for some time now; I finally got around to it, and I turned the camera on Orion, too, while I had stars on my mind. 🙂 I do wish I had a better tripod, as my mini one tends to drift a bit when the camera’s tilted, its center of weight pulling it off in one direction. But to be able to take photos like this of the night sky on a compact camera…we really do live in the future. You know that, right?

ISO 80, f/8, 1/100s. 4 Mar 2012.

ISO 80, f/4.5, 15s. 6 Mar 2012.

Adding my own #GRAIL #NASATweetup poster mock-up to the mix

Everyone seems to be playing in Photoshop today (probably yesterday by the time I post this 😛 ), so I had to, too. I’m working on a poster in an 18×24″ size; whether my fellow space tweeps want to use it for the big poster or not, I’ll likely print a couple copies of the end result in about 9×12″ as a surface for signatures in case we get the opportunity. A couple rather than one, in case I could persuade people to sign one for me, one for my baby niece. Gotta start making a respectable nerd of her early, right? (Is 9×12″ big enough? Maybe 12×16″?)

Here’s where I’m at. I’ll probably play a bit more before I’m done, but I’d love suggestions (but please don’t be hurt if I choose not to follow them, because I take or leave advice at will).

Edited shortly after posting: I kept playing a little bit–modified the font style to smooth the edges and changed the GRAIL font to a slight variant with cut-out lines. Not sure which I prefer but here’s no. 2:

Here, I shifted the moon and twins a bit because they seemed a bit clumped in the middle and the moon wasn’t centered right.

Volcanic Io and hazy Titan: Interesting moons


I never knew Titan was an interesting moon.

I loved Io better, for the shimmering images of it that came from the Galileo mission (and possibly one of Hubble’s rarer diversions toward the insides of our little suburb of the Milky Way). It looks like a brightly colored crystalline-fired vase. I had an art teacher years ago who was preoccupied with crystalline firings, and I love the starburst shells that spread and touch in circles and gingko-leaf shapes. Io has some of those in green and bright yellow. She is a volcanic moon, and I imagine that’s where a lot of the visual interest comes from.

Titan is one of Saturn’s moons — one planet (and a lot of miles) farther from earth than Io, and it’s a lot less fun to look at from afar. Just a colored sphere, with no detail to speak of in the images we have from the Voyager missions of a few decades ago.


What’s curious, though, is the air. Titan has an atmosphere; the plainness of the images is due to a thick haze around the satellite. What’s more, the sky of Titan contains organic molecules, and the atmosphere may be similar in composition to that of the Earth before the origin of life here.

Now, at nearly 300 degrees (Fahrenheit) below zero, it may be a little chill for life to exist or survive on Titan. Still, it’s an interesting thought. …And there’s life in deep ocean trenches at temperatures that would kill much life and pressure that would kill much more, isn’t there?

These images are from the NASA Galileo and Cassini spacecraft.