Friday, March 02, 2007
Lord of the Rings
Cliché title, but what else can you say? Cassini's latest views of Saturn are just gorgeous. I was forced to change my Windows wallpaper from galactic back to planetary!
I set the date in Orbiter to January 19, 2007, but my picture still looks a bit different. One reason is probably camera position, angle, and "lens" field of view, since I don't know the exact time and position for Cassini at the time of the real image (or images, since there are 12 sets of R, G, and B images in the Cassini mosaic, taken over 2.5 hours). Coloration and exposure are also different - the Cassini pix are the real deal, although all of these multi-filter planetary pix involve a certain amount of image processing and human judgment on color and lighting. The Orbiter textures shown here are the level 7 textures from the Outer Planets add-on by VF2_Rolf (Rolf Keibel) et al, available at avsim.com.
Cassini's pictures are better, of course, but having control of the camera and the time acceleration in the 3D solar system of Orbiter can teach you a lot about how these things work.