Friday, June 29, 2007

All (known) Bodies in the Solar System Larger than 200 Miles in Diameter

Kokogiak has created an utterly splendid image of the 88 known bodies in the solar system larger than 200 miles in diameter, arranged in order of size against a rich black background. There were a lot of design choices to make, Kokogiak explains:

I chose the Earth as the visual axis, placing it full-disc at 1000 pixels. The larger planets and Sun just bleed off the page, but still give a sense of scale by the visible curve of their limbs. And where to cut it off on the small end? Why 200 miles? Well, that's entirely arbitrary. It so happens that I have a fondness for Saturn's moon Mimas (247 miles across), and 200 was the next round number down. That simple. Also, it captures a fair percentage of known Trans-Neptunian Objects (51), enough to give a good idea of their place in the larger scheme of things.

The full-screen version:

You can buy a copy of this as a 6 x 52 inch poster for your home, office, or classroom at
Scientist Calls Mars a Terraforming Target for the 21st Century

Physicist Lowell Wood tells the Aspen Institute about his wish to terraform Mars, saying we should have a scientific plan to "experiment on a planet we're not living on." I do not ever want to hear the word "Ooops!" coming out of such an experiment.

Wood refers to us as a "terraforming species." The article by Leonard David offers no balancing opinions on the subject that might include ethical considerations if Mars has indigenous life of any sort, nor understanding that we are also a "terraciding" species. His caveat about what he sees as merely a three decade project is that we might not have the "marshaled will."

That's a real sharp pointed stick to poke them with, in hopes that it will lead them to focus their power and influence on making it so. Mom, he said we didn't have will. I'll...I'll show him. We'll terraform the hell out of Mars, just see if we don't.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Welcome to the Mars in the Morning blog

I'll be covering a wide range of Mars and space subjects, ranging from mainstream astronomical news and views, to more speculative and esoteric perspectives. Mars anomalies such as the Face on Mars, as well as Mars in art, literature, film and music will be a frequent subject. UFOs and science fiction will be part of the mix too.

In addition to news, links and commentary, I will soon be offering custom t-shirts, gifts and housewares featuring rare images in the above subject areas through, using images from my extensive personal collection of rare books and prints. While the Mars in the Morning blog will be frequently updated, I'll be using an accompanying website for articles and other content that need a more permanent space. Watch soon for offerings of rare and out of print books, and other related material.