After Hours

Desktop Wallpaper: NASA concept art

Alien World

This artist's rendering shows a gas-giant exoplanet transiting across the face of its star. Infrared analysis by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of this type of system provided the breakthrough.

Resource: NASA.gov

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

39 comments
edefelix
edefelix

Beautiful scenes! Gorgeous! Fantastic!

michael.christ
michael.christ

I don't know what the resolution of your screen is, but this stuff doesn't come close to being reasonable wallpaper

boxfiddler
boxfiddler moderator

Thanks for those. I wonder how closely our imaginations parallel material reality?

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

I've seen the Constelation art before, at the Lockheed Martian Plant just outside Denver where my brother was doing the electrical for the command capsule. And is now a future life boat for the ISS space station. Right now the only way it will reach the moon is if the ISS exploded and as part of the remains it was sent traveling in the direction of the moon. And if you know NASA that could change next week if they had the money. Right now the odds are you cremated remains could have a beeter chance of going to the moon than a living human. That may make some good painted art work one day.

JCitizen
JCitizen

close enough to see a gamma ray burst that looked as close as that artist rendition. You don't even have to see the object to die from it! I don't remember the fatal range of the polar beams, but it is very impressive, to say the least. I believe you don't want to be anywhere near 3000 light years of one, no matter which direction the poles are pointing. Supposedly our Galaxy doesn't have the stuff to do it; but all that is required is the collision of two neutron stars or the collapse of a big one. We don't have neutron stars in our galaxy? That seems far fetched! Oh Well! I'm not an astrophysicist, but I swore I've seen neutron stars on the local star charts!

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

strongly resembles the eye of a reptile poking above the surface of the event horizon...

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

Image 12 looks so much like the Discovery spacecraft from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

bpolo
bpolo

I like these artist renderings, these will make nice wallpapers for my nephews desktop.

JCitizen
JCitizen

and a 61" diagonal with 16:9 aspect ratio, and they look stunning enough to me. One has to have the graphic adapter to see the results.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

Given that ISS is the abbreviation for "International Space Station", isn't tacking "space station" onto it just slightly redundant?

JCitizen
JCitizen

And you're right - it scales well on my big screen!

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

And if you use the Faststone free Image viewer you can crop and scale them to fill your screen. Just remember to rescale in steps and not all at once you can get better image detail. Depending on start size I do 320, 480, 512, 640, 720, 800, 1024, 1280, 1440, 1680, 1920, 2240, 2560, and image edge sharpening helps but only 3 times or it distorts the image quality. And you may have to down scale a time or two and start again up scaling the image, this helps if the image is smaller than 1Kx768 to start. For free you can get near fractal quality up scaling of images. And with the software for free you can get near fractal quality scaling for a price you will love, that's free

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

In my mind the Wheel design was a atmosphere bound idea for humans that did not know what space was like. What I had been hoping for is the shuttle external fuel tanks would be sent into space and be used for as habitats that people could start building homes in. Since 2008 that dreams has faded when Discovery melted away over Texas in 2006. Now it seems the Euros will be sending things bigger than a basket ball, since the best we can do is tape ants to bottle rockets with the accountants we have today.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I'm just now getting back into Astronomy and have forgotten how far away that nebula you refer to is. I assume you mean it was formed from just such a star explosion. I'll do it the lazy way, and check my Microsoft telescope! ;)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

"...poking above the surface of the event horizon"? That's an awkward phrase. It must have been BC when I wrote that. Wonder if I should change it to read "peering over the event horizon..."

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

You can click on the image in the gallery to open a new page with the full-size image, then right-click and save the 3000x2400 image. Why scale when you don't have to?

JCitizen
JCitizen

Many want the death tax re-instated or repealed, which ever is the case. One good reason for ending or stopping it is so the farmer families can survive. Once the farmer dies, the kids can't afford to run the farm, and pay the horrendous tax too. Land has become so valuable that the taxes can be killer on something that was paid off generations ago; but the family is forced to sell out. People need to figure out of they want to be beholding to the big corporations for their food or get rid of the ridiculous death tax. It is killing the middle class too. No politician likes the middle class because they are too educated to listen to their lies, and they tend to vote against more government power.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

I've wanted to convert NASA from the FED's to private for years. Do you notice that every 4 or 8 years good ideas and programs get canned mainly because the name of the founding creator is not the current fool in the White House. My idea to fund a privatized NASA is to make space projects a tax free expense, that's no taxing all expenditures or profits of private programs and expenditures. All work or projects must be in space, the only earth bound tax free projects would be schooling and education. Private companys can do anything anyway, the just have to pass OSHA laws that exist at the time. There will be no 5 year OSHA studys to hold back projects or spend billions in government money thus paying off people so side one way or the other. In plain English, no Pork of any kind. If discovered then the money repayment is responsibility paid my those involved and down the family tree of the one involved, no more money owed ends at death.

JCitizen
JCitizen

private enterprise is taking the challenge on launch control over at NASA in Florida. This new private launch was a missile big enough to get to the moon, by what I've read about it. They will replace the Soviet Soyuz for now, but bigger ideas are already on the drawing board over at Space X. Now if they would fire the head of NASA and replace him with someone like Burt Rutan; maybe NASA could get somewhere too!

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

It is true that compared to this Time/Space Universe we are in we do not even make the dot at the end of a sentence, and our toys may be that lost dot. Compaired to the power that is in the Universe we can not even really distroy the planet we are on. We may be able to harm parts of it, but in the end the best we can do is put a blemish on this blue marble that orbits the sun. And for you global fear mongering Warming people, that's harm the environment we live in, not kill the planet so life will never survive. That is because life adapts to strange environments to survive. All though it may not be human.

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

Yes you are right but I was not going to mess with it, Santee said 9, I rolled with it. Bout 8.2 to 8.4 minutes, call it a really short time. We, as in us, won't be here, and hopefully our descendants will have migrated away from this star before it runs out of fuel.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

That time is far off into the future, and if you watch the History Channels show 'The Universe" or and Science class dealing with Astronomy, they say it takes 8 minutes, so they round down and you round up. I've read years ago in a Astronomy magazine on average it is 8 min and 23 seconds. And if that is true it only happens twice a year at the summer and winter solstice. Do not know what the times are for times we are closest and farthest from the sun and that may change by the density of space, expanding or contracting of the space between the source and destination.But that deals with the warp-age of space, and billionths of a second. Wait until you watch 'The Universe' in HD, much nicer thsn the peep hole on a telescope.

JCitizen
JCitizen

that type of star in that system. But maybe they mentioned some blue companions in there. I'll have to have another gander at it. Even at that distance, I think we would see atmospheric effects, the bursts are short enough, maybe one quarter of the earth could die from gamma radiation exposure.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

Something with green sauce, I hope.

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

we are but tiny little insignificant things in a truly vast space, without too many clues, but the folks who seem to know such stuff say we have 4 billion years till our star gets crazy. Oh, sorry 4 billion years and 9 minutes.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Anything like me? Jaw-dropping, like, when or if our sun does something like the same, and we won't know for at least nine minutes? Oh, Jesus. We are so, like, insignificant and without, ultimately, a clue. Time to prepare dinner.

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

neutron star, 6.5 thousand light years away, and no it was probably not a GRB, just a supernova turned to a neutron star. The Wolf-Rayet star is the one to watch, if you have a 100,000 years on your hands, or we could see it blow tomorrow, which would mean it actually went bang 8000 years ago.

JCitizen
JCitizen

your first gut observation is more accurate! ;)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler moderator

"You betcha." But all that possibility is getting in the way...

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

just leave it poking above the event horizon? ;\

boxfiddler
boxfiddler moderator

So much more possibility to 'poking'. :^0

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

I think, though, that we can learn as much about living in hostile environments by going under water. There are differences in the physiological effects, but designing pressure structures shouldn't be that different.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

My brother who was at NASA on the first two days of the week. He had to go their for his Lockheed Martin job. He is still working on the Aries Capsule that will be attached to the ISS when the Shuttle makes it's last planed flight ever next year Was March, now May since the second to last flight is now February 3rd. Still wish they had not 86ed the Constellation Program, Think we still need practass living on another near by place so we make less errors when we get there. A reacue ship that is still in planning will take at besrt 38 days to get there and the same or more time to get back. But that needs ION rockets which are still lab toys.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen moderator

The vast majority of their images are 4:3. The 3000 x 2500 was the smallest image I found in this gallery, but I didn't look at them all full-size. The majority were 4096 pixels or more in the horizontal. I have one from a previous gallery at 9725 x 4862.

DHOLYER
DHOLYER

My screen is in the 16x10 wide screen format. It's great for movies and HD video, and if you bought your computer more than a few years ago you'll be most likely a Square screen, and if more than 6 or 7 years you'll most likely still be a tuber. If you are an oldie do your lights dim when you turn on the computer? I like to use less than 60 watts for a PC. I do have an old full tower 386 that eats 235 watts, no Hard drives though they moved to newer computers. That ended when I could get Terabyte USB external drives.