Science Art

Science Art: Giant Animals: Modern and Extinct (detail), by Mary McLain

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These are prehistoric animals compared to their modern relatives and, for scale, a human. A human who’s interested in what they’re like… except when…

Look out! HELL PIG!

There are plenty more of the majestic giants (and some terrifying ones) at NPR’s Skunk Bear tumblog.

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Science Art: Jupiter's Rings by LORRI, 2007.

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The New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) snapped this photo of Jupiter’s ring system on February 24, 2007, from a distance of 7.1 million kilometers (4.4 million miles).

This processed image shows a narrow ring, about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) wide, with a fainter sheet of material inside it. The faint glow extending in from the ring is likely caused by fine dust that diffuses in toward Jupiter. This is the outer tip of the “halo,” a cloud of dust …

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SONG: Thirty-Five Minutes (from Earth)

SONG: “Thirty-Five Minutes (from Earth)”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:Based on “NASA Windbots Could Explore Gas Giant Jupiter”, Sky News, 24 July 2015, as used in the post as used in the post “Windbots to explore Jupiter – the bumpier the ride, the better..”

ABSTRACT: The planet Jupiter is 35 light-minutes from Earth (give or take a couple of minutes depending on where in its orbit the planet is).

So a robot floating in the turbulent winds of Jupiter would take that long to send a mes…

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Science Art: Doree, Zeus, Faber by Edward Donovan

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Three names for one little fish. And those are just the beginning.

I found this one on the Scientific Illustration tumblog, which quoted Wikipedia on the doree (etc.):

John Dory, St Pierre or Peter’s Fish, refers to fish of the genus Zeus, especially Zeus faber, of widespread distribution. It is an edible benthic coastal marine fish with a laterally compressed olive-yellow body which has a large dark spot, and long spines on the dorsal fin. The dark spot is used to flash an ‘evil ey…

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Science Art: Her Majesty's Cochins; Imported in 1843, published 1904.

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These are ostensibly Cochin chickens, or forerunners of what we’d call Cochins today. They’re a breed with a *lot* of character, and are uniquely suited, temperamentally, for being “pet” chickens moreso than egg factories or walking meat supplies. Despite the name (after a part of India), they’re originally from China.

This picture is from The Asiatics; Brahmas, Cochins and Langshans, all varieties, their origin; peculiarities of shape and color; egg production; their ma…

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Science Art: Soaking Up the Rays of a Sun-Like Star, by NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, 2015.

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This is an artist’s impression of a planet just discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission that’s gotten the folks at SETI all excited.

It’s the most Earth-like planet yet discovered. Kepler 452b sits in the “Goldilocks” zone around its star, not too hot and not too cold, and is about the same size (or is a little larger) and made of something like the same stuff as the planet we’re sitting around on right now. It takes 365 days to orbit around its sun, too. NASA’s calling it ou…

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Science Art: Jupiter’s Rings by LORRI, 2007.

24 August 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen. The New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) snapped this photo of Jupiter’s ring system on February 24, 2007, from a distance of 7.1 million kilometers (4.4 million miles). This processed image shows a narrow ring, about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) wide, with a fainter sheet of material inside it. The faint glow extending in from the ring is likely caused by fine dust that diffuses in toward Jupiter. This is the outer tip of the “halo,” a cloud of dust that extends down to Jupiter’s cloud tops. The dust will glow much brighter in pictures taken after New Horizons passes to the far side of Jupiter and looks back at the rings, which will then be sunlit from behind. More at NASA’s Solar System Exploration page. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Science Art: Doree, Zeus, Faber by Edward Donovan

16 August 2015 // 0 Comments

Three names for one little fish. And those are just the beginning. I found this one on the Scientific Illustration tumblog, which quoted Wikipedia on the doree (etc.): John Dory, St Pierre or Peter’s Fish, refers to fish of the genus Zeus, especially Zeus faber, of widespread distribution. It is an edible benthic coastal marine fish with a laterally compressed olive-yellow body which has a large dark spot, and long spines on the dorsal fin. The dark spot is used to flash an ‘evil eye’ if danger approaches. Its large eyes at the front of the head provide it with binocular vision and depth perception, which are important for predators. The John Dory’s eye spot on the side of its body also confuses prey, which are scooped up in its big mouth.

Science Art: Experience the Gravity of a Super Earth, NASA/JPL Exoplanet Travel Bureau

9 August 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen Apparently, since last December at least, NASA has been creating vintage-style travel posters for exoplanets – the planets we’ve been discovering around faraway stars. This one, HD 40307g, is eight times Earth’s mass, and might be either a really large rocky planet (like Earth) or a really small ice giant (like Neptune). Either way, base jumping would definitely be different there. There are quite a few other potential destinations at the Exoplanet Travel Bureau, all of which have their own unique charms.

Science Art: Soaking Up the Rays of a Sun-Like Star, by NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, 2015.

26 July 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen This is an artist’s impression of a planet just discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission that’s gotten the folks at SETI all excited. It’s the most Earth-like planet yet discovered. Kepler 452b sits in the “Goldilocks” zone around its star, not too hot and not too cold, and is about the same size (or is a little larger) and made of something like the same stuff as the planet we’re sitting around on right now. It takes 365 days to orbit around its sun, too. NASA’s calling it our “bigger, older cousin”. There are a couple of other, smaller and more Earth-like, planets in the new Kepler findings, too. No one’s saying there’s water on any of them, or little aliens hanging out at the beach. But there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be, either. [via Mr. Finfrock]

Science Art: Fig. 3, The Pocket Cephalometer, or Compass of Coordinates, by Dr. Gustave Le Bon, c.1878.

12 July 2015 // 0 Comments

This is a demonstration of an instrument used to measure “cephalic index,” or how big a person’s head was. This was, at this point in the 1800s, deemed important so that we’d know how smart the person was and, generally, what kind of person he or she was. The same pamphlet, translated into English in the 1920s, also describes a device used to map out 3D models of solid objects… so the kind of modeling that, like, made Gollum and Jurassic Park‘s dinosaurs come to life. You can read how they work here, at archive.org.

Science Art: Scheutz mechanical calculator (Zeichnung der Difference Engine No.1 aus dem Jahr 1853), 1867.

6 July 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen Now, after that brief, regrettable interruption in service, a tribute to the computer. This illustration is from The Elements of Natural Philosophy; Or, An Introduction to the Study of the Physical Sciences, a book Charles Brooke wrote, expanding upon the work of Golding Bird. If Brooke did the illustrations or if someone else did, I’m not sure. This is a machine used to make mathematics; it’s an ancestor of the computer, and a kind of difference engine. The machine was the size of a piano and created logarithmic tables. It was a big hit at the 1855 World’s Fair. They got smaller and fancier after a while.

Science Art: Fig. XLIII. Hydromylos, sive aquaria mola, 1662.

28 June 2015 // 0 Comments

This is a waterwheel, from a book written by architect and engineer Georg Andreas Boeckler, under the title Theatrum machinarum novum : exhibens opera molaria et aquatica constructum industria Georgi Andrea Böckleri… and so on. (The title page doesn’t have a lot of white space on it.) For the Renaissance, this is pretty high tech – it turns running water into flour! Boeckler built fountains. He had a thing for moving water… and moving things with water. His whole book of wonderful machines is in the New York Public Library Digital Collections.

Science Art: Paper Wings, by Nicole Frost.

21 June 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen These are paper sculptures of birds’ wings – four specific categories of birds’ wings. As explained by their creator: This is my paper sculpture of the basic structural differences of the wing types in birds: High Lift, Elliptical, High Aspect/Soaring, and High Speed. Some of the most important differences were the inclusion of wing slots and the alula. That’s a lot of little snips done just right. I found this on Clip Its Wings Art (via Scientific Illustration). Would kinda like to see some more….

Science Art: Beetle, magnified 26 diameters, 1871.

14 June 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen This seems to be a minute beetle, as pictured in Objects for the microscope, being a popular description of the most instructive and beautiful subjects for exhibition by Louisa Lane Clarke. Whether that’s a beetle that happens to be minute (as in small) or does something quickly, or if it’s one of a number of beetles called “minute something beetles” is unclear to me. It’s quite lovely, though. This is a sample of a larger illustration. Nearby on the same page, you can see the beetle life size, not magnified by any diameters. According to the caption, beetles like this are common in spring. The book itself is sort of wonderfully arbitrary, like a Borges quote from an ancient Chinese encyclopedia – it’s a list of somewhat random objects, all of which would possibly delight a curious child with a microscope. Scales of a clothes moth. Spicules of sponge. Common cheese mites […]

Science Art: Comparison between Deinonychus and Velociraptor’s feet, by Danny Cicchetti.

7 June 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen File this, I guess, under “the problem with Jurassic Park.” The little claw at the bottom belonged to the fearsome Velociraptor, a category of creatures most of whom were about the size of a house cat ( like so ). The big scary claw up top belongs to Deionychus, closer to the size of a German shepherd… or the super-scary dinosaurs in the movie ( like so ). The really scary uncle of these guys was Utahraptor, just for the record. About the size of a small car… and hungry. The painting’s by Danny Cicchetti.

Science Art: LightSail by Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society

31 May 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen This is the thing the last song was about, LightSail, which even now is orbiting Earth and probably (if it’s going as expected) accelerating. We’re not entirely sure how it’s going, though, because the software has run into a little problem. Right now, they’re hoping a cosmic ray will reboot the onboard computer, which is apparently a thing that happens once you’re outside the atmosphere. Oh, and as I’m typing this on Saturday night, it looks like that might have just happened! Huh. Now we’ll get to see if this thing works after all!

Plate LXXVII: The First Picture of an American Butterfly from The Butterfly Book by W.J. Holland, 1930 edition.

24 May 2015 // 0 Comments

Click to embiggen In 1930, this picture… or rather, the picture with the inscriptions beside it… had never before been published. And the inscriptions are rather interesting. In Latin, the short one reads, “Hanc e Virginia Americana Candidus ad me Pictor detulit, 1587”, which the author of The Butterfly Book (where I found this) translates as “White, the painter, brought this picture to me from American Virginia, 1587”. White, we’re pretty sure, was John White, described elsewhere as “a man deft with water-colours,” and the father* of Virginia Dare, the first European child born in the New World. They were citizens of the short-lived Roanoke Colony, which vanished while John White was in England obtaining supplies. It took him a year. His wife and daughter** may have joined the local Native American people while he was out. The butterfly is a tiger swallowtail, Papilio turnus… apparently, according to the other inscription, called by the local […]

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