Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spinning Moons

This afternoon I was learning a few of the bells and whistles of the matplotlib Basemap toolkit. As a side product, I ended up with a script to animate a wobbling/spinning planet.

So, here's a couple moons!



Titan, largest moon of Saturn:



Source for map one and map two.

Io, innermost of Jupiter's large moons and most volcanically active body in the solar system:


Map source.

Europa, next of Jupiter's large moons, with a skin of ice covering a sub-surface ocean:



Ganymede, third large moon of Jupiter, and largest moon in the solar system:



Callisto, Jupiter's most distant large moon, with one of the most cratered surfaces in the solar system:


Map source.

Enjoy! If you have other moons you would like to see added, let me know and I'll see what I can do!


Update: At your request, I'll be adding some additional moons below.

The Moon!


Enceladus, Saturn's small but surprisingly active moon with huge space geysers!

Mimas, Saturn's "Death Star" moon (unfortunately I can't capture its geoid or topographic relief ... yet).


Iapetus, Saturn's starkly two-toned moon (this animation does not capture its equatorial ridge).




Triton, largest moon of Neptune. The map of Triton remains incomplete (our only high-resolution data is from the 1989 Voyager 2 flyby), so I focused this render on the hemisphere that was mapped. I say we go back and finish the job!




Enceladus, Mimas, Iapetus, and Triton maps all sourced from here.


Finally, here's a moon-sized (smaller than both Ganymede and Titan) planet - Mercury! I combined a partial enhanced-color map with a more complete black-and-white map to fill in the gaps.



6 comments:

  1. Mimas! http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia08344.html

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  2. Really very informative about the "Spinning Moons"......................
    Keep sharing it.....
    alternativstrom

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love these Awesome solar pictures. Keep up the good work. Amazing!!
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  4. Would you be willing to publish the python code you used to make these? It looks handy!

    ReplyDelete