Mars, Venus and 52 Pegasi, which will you visit? That’s the question NASA puts to you in these incredible ‘Visions of the Future’ a series of free to download vintage-style posters.
A creative team of visual strategists at JPL, known as “The Studio,” created the poster series, which is titled “Visions of the Future.” Nine artists, designers, and illustrators were involved in designing the 14 posters, which are the result of many brainstorming sessions with JPL scientists, engineers, and expert communicators. Each poster went through a number of concepts and revisions, and each was made better with feedback from the JPL experts.
Europa: Life Under the Ice Astonishing geology and the potential to host the conditions for simple life make Jupiter’s moon Europa a fascinating destination for future exploration. Beneath its icy surface, Europa is believed to conceal a global ocean of salty liquid water twice the volume of Earth’s oceans. Tugging and flexing from Jupiter’s gravity generates enough heat to keep the ocean from freezing. On Earth, wherever we find water, we find life. What will Nasa’s Europa mission find when it heads for this intriguing moon in the 2020s?
Earth: Your Oasis in Space There’s no place like home. Warm, wet and with an atmosphere that’s just right, Earth is the only place we know of with life – and lots of it. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Earth science missions monitor our home planet and how it’s changing as we reach deeper into the cosmos
PSO J318.5-22: Where the Nightlife Never Ends Discovered in 2013 using direct imaging, PSO J318.5-22 belongs to a class of planets called rogue planets. Wandering alone in the galaxy, they do not orbit a parent star. Not much is known about how these free-floating planets come to exist, but scientists theorise they may be failed stars or planets ejected from young systems after an encounter with another planet. These rogue planets glow faintly from the heat of their formation
Titan, Moon of Saturn Frigid and alien, yet similar to our own planet billions of years ago, Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, has a thick atmosphere, organic-rich chemistry and a surface shaped by rivers and lakes of liquid ethane and methane. Cold winds sculpt vast regions of hydrocarbon-rich dunes. There may even be cryovolcanoes of cold liquid water. Nasa’s Cassini orbiter was designed to peer through Titan’s perpetual haze and unravel the mysteries of this planet-like moon
Venus: See You at Cloud 9 The rare opportunity of planetary transits has long inspired voyages to exotic vantage points, journeys such as James Cook’s trek to the South Pacific to watch Venus and Mercury cross the face of the Sun in 1769. Spacecraft now allow us the luxury to study these cosmic crossings at times of our choosing from unique locales across our solar system
HD 40307g: A Super Earth Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between “super-Earth” and “mini-Neptune”. Scientists don’t know if it has a rocky surface or one that’s buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice. But one thing is certain: at eight times the Earth’s mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger
The Mighty Auroras of Jupiter The Jovian cloudscape boasts the most spectacular light show in the solar system. Jupiter’s auroras are hundreds of times more powerful than Earth’s, and they form a glowing ring around each pole that is bigger than our home planet. Revolving outside this auroral oval are the glowing, ‘electric footprints’ of Jupiter’s three largest moons. Nasa’s Juno mission will observe Jupiter’s auroras from above the polar regions, which has never before been possible
51 Pegasi b: Your First Exoplanet While there is much debate over which exoplanet discovery is the ‘first’, 51 Pegasi b stands out. Discovered in 1995, it is changing the way we see the universe and our place in it. The exoplanet is about half the mass of Jupiter, with a seemingly impossible, star-hugging orbit of only 4.2 Earth days. Not only was it the first planet confirmed to orbit a sun-like star, it also ushered in a new class of planets called hot Jupiters: hot massive planets orbiting closer to their stars than Mercury
Visit Beautiful Southern Enceladus The discovery of Enceladus’ icy jets and their role in creating Saturn’s E ring is one of the top findings of the Cassini mission to Saturn. Further Cassini mission discoveries revealed evidence of a global ocean and the first signs of potential hydrothermal activity beyond Earth, making this tiny Saturnian moon one of the leading locations in the search for possible life beyond Earth
Mars: Multiple Tours Available The Mars Exploration programme seeks to understand whether Mars was, is or can be a habitable world. Mission such as Mars Pathfinder, Mars Exploration Rovers, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have provided important information about the habitability of Mars. This poster imagines a future day when we’ve achieved our vision of human exploration of Mars and takes a nostalgic look back at the great imagined milestones of Mars exploration that will someday be celebrated as historic sites
Ceres, Queen of the Asteroid Belt Ceres is the closest dwarf planet to the sun and the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, with an equatorial diameter of about 600 miles. It became the first dwarf planet to be explored by a spacecraft when Nasa’s Dawn probe arrived in orbit last year to learn more about this world of ice and rock All photographs: Nasa/JPL/Rex Shutterstock and free to download from the Nasa site
Now Boarding: The Grand Tour Nasa’s Voyager mission took advantage of a once-every-175-year alignment of the outer planets for a grand tour of the solar system. The twin spacecraft revealed details about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, using the gravity of each planet to propel them on to the next destination. Voyager set the stage for such ambitious orbiter missions as Galileo to Jupiter and Cassini to Saturn. Both Voyager spacecraft continue to collect science scientific information about the far reaches of our solar system
Credits for the posters
Dan Goods, David Delgado
Liz Barrios De La Torre (Ceres, Europa)
Stefan Bucher (Jupiter Design)
Invisible Creature (Grand Tour, Mars, Enceladus)
Joby Harris (Kepler 16b, Earth, Kepler 186f, PSO J318.5-22, Titan)
Jessie Kawata (Venus)
Lois Kim (Typography for Venus and Europa)
Ron Miller (Jupiter Illustration)