Jupiter as Art
Readers of Air & Space magazine are probably familiar with Michael Benson's breath-taking images of our solar system. His enhanced and composite photographs taken from missions as far-flung as Voyager to the Earth-observing Terra satellite, and should make even the most awed Hubble Space Telescope fans double-take at our neighboring planets. While it's limiting to put his work into categories, there are two types of images Benson makes that stand out above the others. One type is the stark, minimalist image, like a top-down view of Uranus, a smooth turquoise sheen loosely wrapped by a thin, fragile ring. The other type are his richly detailed scenes, like this one above, a composite of Voyager photographs taken in 1979, of Jupiter's Great Red Spot with its relatively tiny moon Europa transiting above. The currents seem almost to move in 3D on the screen. You can experience more of Benson's work in Washington, D.C. in the art gallery of the American Association of the Advancement of Science until June 28, 2013, or in his new book, Planetfall.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson, Kinetikon Pictures