The Arcadian Ideal...

Oh, if we could only live in an arcadian world...

1,126 notes

todiwan:

I gathered up a few of images of the Earth and the Moon, taken by various spacecraft through recent and not so recent history. From top to bottom, and in chronological order, they are:

1. An image of Earth and the Moon taken by NASA’s Voyager 1 when it was 11.66 million kilometers from Earth, on 18th of September 1977. This is the first image of its kind ever taken by a spacecraft.

2. This image was taken by the Galileo spacecraft as it flew by, eight days after its encounter with the Earth-Moon system on 16th of December 1992. Image was taken from a distance of about 6.2 million kilometers.

3. This image was taken by the NEAR spacecraft as it flew by the Earth-Moon system on 23rd of January 1998, 19 hours after the spacecraft swung by Earth on its way to the asteroid 433 Eros. Taken from 400000km away, approximately the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

4. An image of Earth and the Moon (3rd of October 2007) taken from Martian orbit by “The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment” (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Keep in mind that the distance between the Earth and the Moon is much larger than it appears on those pictures. The reason the Moon appears so large is due to perspective.

(via thedemon-hauntedworld)

363 notes

thedemon-hauntedworld:

Arp 81: 100 Million Years Later
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing - Martin Pugh

From planet Earth, we see this strongly distorted pair of galaxies, cataloged as Arp 81, as they were only about 100 million years after their close encounter. The havoc wreaked by their mutual gravitational interaction during the encounter is detailed in this color composite showing twisted streams of gas and dust, a chaos of massive star formation, and a tidal tail stretching for 200 thousand light-years or so as it sweeps behind the cosmic wreckage. Also known as NGC 6622 (top) and NGC 6621, the galaxies are roughly equal in size but are destined to merge into one large galaxy in the distant future, making repeated approaches until they finally coalesce. Located in the constellation Draco, the galaxies are 280 million light-years away. Even more distant background galaxies can be spotted in the sharp, reprocessed, image from Hubble Legacy Archive data.

65 notes

thedemon-hauntedworld:

The Tidal Tale of NGC 3628
A mere 30 million light-years away, large spiral galaxy NGC 3628 (center left) shares its neighborhood in the local Universe with two other large spirals, in a magnificent grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplet. In fact, fellow trio member M65 is near the center right edge of this deep cosmic group portrait, with M66 just above it and to the left. But, perhaps most intriguing is the spectacular tail stretching down for about 300,000 light-years from NGC 3628’s warped, edge-on disk. Known as a tidal tail, the structure has been drawn out of the galaxy by gravitational tides during brief but violent past interactions with its large neighbors. Not often imaged so distinctly, the tidal tail is composed of young bluish star clusters and star-forming regions.

Image Credit & Copyright: Thomas V. Davis (tvdavisastropix.com)

thedemon-hauntedworld:

The Tidal Tale of NGC 3628
A mere 30 million light-years away, large spiral galaxy NGC 3628 (center left) shares its neighborhood in the local Universe with two other large spirals, in a magnificent grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplet. In fact, fellow trio member M65 is near the center right edge of this deep cosmic group portrait, with M66 just above it and to the left. But, perhaps most intriguing is the spectacular tail stretching down for about 300,000 light-years from NGC 3628’s warped, edge-on disk. Known as a tidal tail, the structure has been drawn out of the galaxy by gravitational tides during brief but violent past interactions with its large neighbors. Not often imaged so distinctly, the tidal tail is composed of young bluish star clusters and star-forming regions.

Image Credit & Copyright: Thomas V. Davis (tvdavisastropix.com)

10 notes

The Mediterranean Sea of America…
So, I tend to have a yearning for cartography. It may stem from my background as an architect, an artistic, technical and graphically based profession. But, I also have always had a need to understand the world we live in, explore new things, see the things that we in America are so far removed from. It does seem that we have blinders on sometimes. Honestly, the United States has so much and dominates so much culture it isn’t very hard to think that this is all there is. Exploring both historical and modern maps can bring the rest of the world into focus. Exploring map based infographics can be very enlightening as you try to understand relationships between all parts of the globe.
I had the pleasure of taking a cruise around the Mediterranean a few years ago. My wife and I had such a great time exploring the historical places and artifacts and the life of strange cities. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if the Mediterranean wasn’t so far away?
Well, I was examining maps and globes and realized that the Mediterranean Sea is at the same Latitude as the United States. If only it were possible to rotate the Mediterranean Sea around to our side of the planet? Would it fit? What effect would this have? What about the states… new coastlines in the middle of the country… new relationships… states torn in pieces?
A couple of screen captures, lots of graphic manipulation and now we know. The Mediterranean Sea fits within the confines of the United States of America. In a way, it is pretty amazing how big the Mediterranean Sea is.  We always think if the United States as a vast country, more than 3000 miles from east coast to west coast. It used to be quite a task to traverse that distance. Amazingly, ancient mariners of the Mediterranean traversed similar vast areas of water for their commerce, and conquests.
So, what have we done? This is a new vision of the United States of America. A few states have been unaffected by this mash-up.  Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Main and Florida. Yes, I am ignoring Alaska and Hawaii since they are remote, sorry.
It’s interesting to note that by adding the Black Sea, it nicely takes the place of our own Great Lakes. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec get new coastlines, but Lower Ontario becomes an isolated piece on the US side. A Canadian interloper if you will. Although the Great Lakes are very large, I believe the area of the Black Sea is larger than the combined Great Lakes. In this alternate US the remaining areas of the Great Lakes become great grassy plains… perhaps, International Park Reserves, or snatched up by neighboring states. Michigan loses a large portion of its “mitten” and the upper peninsula becomes the state it always wanted to be, Superior.
The “rust belt” area of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania would approximate the area of Turkey. Illinois becomes a state of great island outcroppings and the "Aegean Sea" becomes the "Illinois Sea". Kentucky hugs the southern coastline of the new “rust belt”. The Greek Islands of Karpathos and Rhodes would be part of Kentucky. What a history to explore.
The South has been largely supplanted by the "Confederate Sea", the eastern arm of the Mediterranean. The southern states have been effectively cut in half. Oddly, mirroring the Turkish grab of part of the Island of Cyprus, West Virginia has grabbed a part of this alternate Cyprus that is mostly in Virginia. The State of Tennessee has been reduced to a portion of the former Island of Crete.
Missouri would take most of the Greek peninsula, the Peloponnese, most of Crete, and many islands. Iowa gains great rocky coastlines on both the east and west. The new "Plains Sea", that takes the place of the former "Adriatic Sea", reaches into North Dakota and cuts South Dakota into the new states of East Dakota and West Dakota. West Dakota is the new Tuscany and East Dakota approximates Croatia. Nebraska is now the main “boot” of Italy with coast on the east and west. Kansas takes over the “toe” of Italy and Sicily (except Colorado has made a foothold on the west tip).
The "Tyrrhenian Sea" along the west coast of the Italian peninsula becomes the "Nebraska Sea" and reaches all the way up to Montana and the Custer’s Battlefield Monument.  Wyoming has split into the new state of Yellowstone (with the amazing Yellowstone Park) and the Wyoming Islands (Corsica and the Northern part of Sardinia). Idaho gains new coastline.
Texas, New Mexico and Colorado have a great new coastline. Although Colorado has been mostly swallowed up and maintains the southern part of Sardinia and an outpost on Sicily.
Utah has split into the coastal area along the northern edge of Arizona and the Great Salt Islands. Nevada has lost the southern portion to a new state called Las Vegas. In return they get a Mediterranean coastline. I think that would be a good trade. 
The new “Sea of California”, the western outlet, splits the state into Northern California and Southern California… most Californians want that anyway. This leads us to the “Strait of Pismo” and out to the Pacific Ocean. There just may be a “Rock of Pismo” in place of the “Rock of Gibraltar”. Not quite the cache’… I would say.
So, a brave new alternate United States of America with its great inland sea. What a different world it might have been, or might be in another alternate world. If I were a writer, I would love to explore the alternate history of the United States in this new version. Does anyone want to tackle it?  I’ll take concept credits;-)

The Mediterranean Sea of America…

So, I tend to have a yearning for cartography. It may stem from my background as an architect, an artistic, technical and graphically based profession. But, I also have always had a need to understand the world we live in, explore new things, see the things that we in America are so far removed from. It does seem that we have blinders on sometimes. Honestly, the United States has so much and dominates so much culture it isn’t very hard to think that this is all there is. Exploring both historical and modern maps can bring the rest of the world into focus. Exploring map based infographics can be very enlightening as you try to understand relationships between all parts of the globe.

I had the pleasure of taking a cruise around the Mediterranean a few years ago. My wife and I had such a great time exploring the historical places and artifacts and the life of strange cities. I thought, wouldn’t it be great if the Mediterranean wasn’t so far away?

Well, I was examining maps and globes and realized that the Mediterranean Sea is at the same Latitude as the United States. If only it were possible to rotate the Mediterranean Sea around to our side of the planet? Would it fit? What effect would this have? What about the states… new coastlines in the middle of the country… new relationships… states torn in pieces?

A couple of screen captures, lots of graphic manipulation and now we know. The Mediterranean Sea fits within the confines of the United States of America. In a way, it is pretty amazing how big the Mediterranean Sea is.  We always think if the United States as a vast country, more than 3000 miles from east coast to west coast. It used to be quite a task to traverse that distance. Amazingly, ancient mariners of the Mediterranean traversed similar vast areas of water for their commerce, and conquests.

So, what have we done? This is a new vision of the United States of America. A few states have been unaffected by this mash-up.  Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Main and Florida. Yes, I am ignoring Alaska and Hawaii since they are remote, sorry.

It’s interesting to note that by adding the Black Sea, it nicely takes the place of our own Great Lakes. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec get new coastlines, but Lower Ontario becomes an isolated piece on the US side. A Canadian interloper if you will. Although the Great Lakes are very large, I believe the area of the Black Sea is larger than the combined Great Lakes. In this alternate US the remaining areas of the Great Lakes become great grassy plains… perhaps, International Park Reserves, or snatched up by neighboring states. Michigan loses a large portion of its “mitten” and the upper peninsula becomes the state it always wanted to be, Superior.

The “rust belt” area of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania would approximate the area of Turkey. Illinois becomes a state of great island outcroppings and the "Aegean Sea" becomes the "Illinois Sea". Kentucky hugs the southern coastline of the new “rust belt”. The Greek Islands of Karpathos and Rhodes would be part of Kentucky. What a history to explore.

The South has been largely supplanted by the "Confederate Sea", the eastern arm of the Mediterranean. The southern states have been effectively cut in half. Oddly, mirroring the Turkish grab of part of the Island of Cyprus, West Virginia has grabbed a part of this alternate Cyprus that is mostly in Virginia. The State of Tennessee has been reduced to a portion of the former Island of Crete.

Missouri would take most of the Greek peninsula, the Peloponnese, most of Crete, and many islands. Iowa gains great rocky coastlines on both the east and west. The new "Plains Sea", that takes the place of the former "Adriatic Sea", reaches into North Dakota and cuts South Dakota into the new states of East Dakota and West Dakota. West Dakota is the new Tuscany and East Dakota approximates Croatia. Nebraska is now the main “boot” of Italy with coast on the east and west. Kansas takes over the “toe” of Italy and Sicily (except Colorado has made a foothold on the west tip).

The "Tyrrhenian Sea" along the west coast of the Italian peninsula becomes the "Nebraska Sea" and reaches all the way up to Montana and the Custer’s Battlefield Monument.  Wyoming has split into the new state of Yellowstone (with the amazing Yellowstone Park) and the Wyoming Islands (Corsica and the Northern part of Sardinia). Idaho gains new coastline.

Texas, New Mexico and Colorado have a great new coastline. Although Colorado has been mostly swallowed up and maintains the southern part of Sardinia and an outpost on Sicily.

Utah has split into the coastal area along the northern edge of Arizona and the Great Salt Islands. Nevada has lost the southern portion to a new state called Las Vegas. In return they get a Mediterranean coastline. I think that would be a good trade. 

The new “Sea of California”, the western outlet, splits the state into Northern California and Southern California… most Californians want that anyway. This leads us to the “Strait of Pismo” and out to the Pacific Ocean. There just may be a “Rock of Pismo” in place of the “Rock of Gibraltar”. Not quite the cache’… I would say.

So, a brave new alternate United States of America with its great inland sea. What a different world it might have been, or might be in another alternate world. If I were a writer, I would love to explore the alternate history of the United States in this new version. Does anyone want to tackle it?  I’ll take concept credits;-)

Filed under cartography alternate history maps fantasy maps

86 notes

ratak-monodosico:

Mystical Mapping Before Flight: the value of panoramic cartography as an historical source

Cartography has shaped the limits of our knowledge for thousands of years. Since ancient times, map-makers have sought to render their impressions of the known world, often skewing hard evidence for dubious political gain. These maps in term have aided history’s foremost explorers and navigators, allowing them to stretch the bounds of earth further still.

Whilst ‘flat’ maps have played a crucial role in global history, the panoramic depiction is often overlooked. Today we are constantly bombarded with birdseye views of continents, cities and townscapes which give us the detailed overviews of persisting human development and interaction.

New York Panorama

New York Panorama

However, even before the advent of flight and extraterrestrial satellites, cartographers and artists alike have depicted their homelands from the air. Their imaginings, sometimes derived from vantage points such as bell towers and forts, sometimes conjured up from the recesses of their minds, give us an alternative historical source.

Jacopo_de'_Barbari_-_Venetie_MD_-_retouched

De’ Barbari Map of Venice, 1500

Jacopo de’ Barbari’s 1500 panorama of Venice provides a powerful and detailed overview of what was, at the time, one of Europe’s preeminent cities. Capturing the Republic of Venice at its peak – shortly before the commencement of the inexorable decline that would see its maritime empire usurped by Ottoman Turks – de’ Barbari conveys the aura of wonder that many travellers experienced when passing through the lidi into the fabled lagoon. The depiction of Neptune astride his seahorse, facing skywards, testifies to Venetian maritime glory and its association with divine providence.

De’ Barbari had completed his map after taking a series of detailed surveys from the city’s campaniles – despite the optimistic promises of a certain Leonard da Vinci who had tried to persuade the Doge to patronise his imaginative ‘flying machine’.

The 1590 woodcut below, however, showing a panorama of medieval Rome, did not strive for such detail. Rather, it is concerned with the important buildings and structures of the city; the aqueducts, the towers, the palaces and the churches. This is a cultured, pious Rome, free from the religious strife that upended much of late 16th century Europe.

P21343 P850002-b1map4 001

When compared to Giambattista Nolli’s 1748 aerial map of Rome below – one oozing precision and dedication – the woodcut can appear rather feeble. Yet somehow the panoramic view overcomes the lack of detail; it gives a sense of Roman culture, a truly Christian civilization elevated by the expertise of its engineering. The Nolli map, meanwhile, is of greater practical significance, giving us a fascinating portrayal of the planning and urban growth of an early modern city, a remarkable feat for the time.

Nolli Map, 1748

Nolli Map, 1748

Even after the advent of flight, maps continued to single out the buildings that brought their cities alive. By 1926, most Americans knew what New York looked like from the air. Yet the map below, created to promote the Paramount silent film New York, draws attention to the landmarks that make the city special. The road alignments are inaccurate but that is irrelevant; this is an expression of American optimism during the ‘Roaring Twenties’ before the Wall Street Crash made New Yorkers question the validity of the American Dream.

New York Movie Map, 1926

New York Movie Map, 1926

Panoramic maps, in addition to being more aesthetically pleasing than traditional flat maps, allow us a cultural snapshot of a town, city, state or people at a certain point in history. Whilst undoubtedly vulnerable to cartographical bias and inaccuracy, they allow us to view the past in a different way, enable us to achieve a degree of understanding of what it must have been like to inhabit a particular place at a particular time.

(via fuckyeahcartography)