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Wallpapers: Images from other places and times

 

Below are some of my dabblings into the world science fiction themed art.  Click on the previews for a full size image you can download for personal use.  Comments and discussions are always welcome. (rcdavison@orbitalmaneuvers.com) Enjoy!


Cassini's Garden

A commemoration of the amazing probe, mission and team of people that put Cassini in orbit about Saturn and collected data for over 13 years.  

Maybe someday, hopefully in the not too distant future, when we humans no longer define ourselves by our nationalities, religions, political affiliations or other divisive categories, we will find it in ourselves to build a monument--on Enceladus perhaps--to remember this small probe and the international cooperation it took unveil the mysteries of the ringed planet and its system of 53 confirmed moons.

Wallpaper - Cassini's Garden

Journey to the Setting Moons

The current thinking today is that almost every star may have a planet or planets orbiting it, and with planets you're going to have moons.  All this increases the opportunities for extraterrestrial life to evolve.  This is amazing in its own right, but even more amazing to me is that these beings will have followed the same steps we have: first, explore their lands, then journey across their seas, and once they conquered the world they evolved on, they would look to the stars...

Wallpaper: Journey to the Setting Moons

Playthings

The Universe presents an almost infinite pallet from which to create life.  Who's to say that there are not entities out there with the power to play with planets for amusement?  I present for your contemplation, "Playthings".

Playthings


Exile - Summer Solstice
He was a collector of things and once ruled his domain with impunity.  All things must end and his transgressions led to his exile on a moon orbiting a dry and barren inner planet in the solar system he once freely traveled.  Summer has come to his prison and as another solstice marks his solitary imprisonment, he can do no more than gaze at the lush blue planet hanging in the evening sky that he once called home. 

Wallpaper: Exile - Summer Soltice


Winter Tree
A cold winter's night with a full moon and a lone tree on a hill: Merry Christmas! (Or if you prefer no Christmas tree lights, click on the bottom image.)

Winter Tree

Wallpaper, Winter Tree-1

Menagerie
The Visitor adds to his collection after another visit to Earth.  Magic or technology?  To us, it is one in the same. 

Have they been here already?  Have they added to their collection one by one and we've not noticed?  Are they out there at all?  Maybe one day we'll find out, until then, enjoy!

Orbital Maneuvers Wallpaper: Menagerie


Orb
Our world, from its sapphire blue oceans to its emerald green forests, provides everything we need to exist.  Surely there are planets in this vast Universe--in our galaxy alone--that provide nurturing environments to their indigenous species. The resultant lifeforms may be so alien in nature to us that we may never find a common reference point to share our experiences. 

Wallpaper: Orb


Bird's Eye View
Just wondering what it might be like to see the world from a bird's perspective.

Wallpaper - Bird's Eye View


Blue Sunset
The sky is alive with colors all during the day and the clouds that decorate the sky just make it more interesting.  Typically we think of red with a sunset, but it depends on just when you see it and other factors like the amount of dust and smog in the atmosphere as well as clouds.  This picture was inspired by a beautiful picture taken by P-M Hedén and can be seen, along with other beautiful images at Clearskies in the Noctilucent Clouds Gallery. (Noctilucent clouds are clouds at very high altitude made of ice crystals that can be seen late into the twilight hours.)

Wallpaper Blue Sunset


Exoplanet
With the data from the Kepler Mission producing over 2000 confirmed planets and 4600 more potential planets located in its small view of the cosmos (1/400th of the sky), the chance of life on a distant planet is going up with each confirmed planet.  "Exoplanet" depicts a binary planet system with liquid water, diverse plant life and flying bugs - can't get away from the bugs! Does it really exist?  Who knows. But, just consider that the Kepler data is based on observing 100,000 stars out of the 300 to 400 billion stars in our galaxy!

Wallpaper - Exoplanet


Outside the Cluster

A habitable moon orbiting a ringed gas giant on the distant outskirts of a dazzling globular cluster - what a sight it would make in the night sky!

Outside the Cluster Wallpaper


Inside the Cluster

What would it look like to live on a planet orbiting a star inside a globular cluster?  This image tries to show what such a planet might have as a night sky.  Located some distance from the center of the cluster off to the right of the image, the sky is full of stars that provide enough light to easily read by.  Deeper into the cluster the night sky would be even brighter.

Inside the Cluster wallpaper


Troubled Waters

An abstract representation of life on planet Earth in the 21st century.  Let us all hope the storm abates soon...

Wallpaper - Trouble Waters


Water Hole

Planets in the habitable zone around a star may have water on their surface in the form of liquid, ice or just water vapor.  The planet in the image is mostly dry and arid except for occasional monsoon rains that leave behind temporary pools, which could potentially provide an oasis for life as long as the water is present.  This life may be nothing more than simple bacteria or possibly more advanced lifeforms that have evolved to cope with the fleeting presence of life-giving water.

Wall Paper - Water Hole 

Twilight

Twilight, that magical time when day melts into night and colors flow across the sky with abandon.  The picture was based on an amazing sunset I saw a few months ago which left me in awe of Mother Nature and angry that I didn't have a camera to capture the moment. 

"Twilight" is set on a planet not unlike our own, but it's really one of two moons orbiting a larger planet with a glorious galaxy floating in the background.  Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Wallpaper - Twilight

Starry Night

We live in a simple solar system consisting of one star and at least 8 planets, depending on your definition of planet.  The majority of stars not in the category of red dwarfs, exist in a binary system, two stars orbiting a common center of mass.  There are also solar systems consisting of three, four or more stars, which makes for a very interesting environment if you happen to live on a planet in one of these multi-star systems.  "Night" would take on a totally different meaning from what we know it to be -- if it were ever defined at all. 

Enjoy Starry Night and think about living on a planet with endless daylight, and the wonders of the Universe we would never know about all for the lack of a night sky...

Wall paper - Starry Night


Sunset at Wellesly Island

Meanwhile, back on Earth, in the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River to be exact, the Sun is setting.  No alien creatures, no binary stars or multiple moons, just a simple, beautiful sunset over the Lake of the Isles that is surrounded by Wellesly Island on the US side and Hill Island on the Canadian side.  A beautiful place to visit if you ever have the opportunity.

Wallpaper - Sunset at Wellesly Island


Life - Not as We Know It

What's out there?  Probably not bipedal, humanoid life with wrinkled foreheads, spotted faces and knobby noses so frequently depicted in modern sci-fi today.  What may be out there is probably more bizarre than we can imagine.  Take a look at what swims in our seas! (And, this is just what we know about.)  

Below are two versions of the same scene depicting life on a watery planet, which exists near a sparkling globular cluster and nebula giving birth new stars.  The two versions are basically the same scene but with very different atmospheres and consequentially very different lighting effects.  I put both up for your viewing pleasure because I couldn't make up my mind which version I liked better!  Let me know which one you prefer.
Wallpaper - Life - Not as We Know it -blu

Wallpaper: Life - Not as We Know it - red


Journey Far

Extraterrestrials, as portrayed by popular media, typically either want to eat our brains or strip the natural resources from our planet.  But, what if we are the technologically advanced civilization visiting a world that is just starting to be explored by its natives.  Will we be intelligent or civilized enough not to interfere with the planet's inhabitants natural development? 

Journey Far depicts explorers on distant planet leaving the shelter of their harbors and homes to discover the wonders their planet holds in store for them.

Wallpaper - Journey Far


Eclipses

The eclipses we experience on Earth are due to the periodic alignment of our Sun, Moon and planet.  We will have two solar eclipses in 2015: a total eclipse on March 20th, and a partial eclipse on September 13th.  Since solar eclipses are followed shortly thereafter by lunar eclipses, there will also be two lunar eclipses in 2015: April 4th and September 28th. 

Imagine the number of eclipses a planet with more than one moon (Jupiter and Saturn have over 50 moons each!) and/or in a binary or trinary star system would have!  The image below shows a gas giant system with a number of moons, some of which have their own moons.  Multiple eclipses are in process; can you find all five of them?
Wall paper - Eclipses


Planet Rise

The current estimate of potentially habitable planets in the Milky Way galaxy is on the order of tens of billions - we aren't even considering the moons that might be orbiting these planets, and may have water and atmospheres conducive for life.  Planet Rise shows a gas giant rising over an ocean teaming with life on one of its moons. 
Wall paper Planet Rise

Wormhole

Take a ride through a wormhole!  Theoretically, wormholes exist, but we've not seen one - yet.  Then again, there's a lot out there in the Universe we haven't seen, but we are only starting to look.  Who knows what we're going to find once we step beyond the bounds of our solar system.
 
Wallpaper - Wormhole


Desert Oasis - Night and Morning

Two new wallpapers - same place, different times.  I couldn't make up my mind which one I liked best so I'll leave the choice up to you!

Deset Oasis at Night

Desert Oasis at Morning


Temple of the Sun

Who knows what may be found on a planet in the habitable zone around a not too distant star.  Blue sky, blue water, a temple paying homage to the local star that provides the energy for life on this planet.  A place we could call home.  It's out there--somewhere, waiting for us to find it...

Orbital Maneuvers Wallpapers


Blue Heron

Inspiration for my pictures comes from so many different places.  Blue Heron came one day in March when I was attending an art exhibit of a very dear friend and AMAZING artist, Tatiana Rhinevault.  Tatiana had done this beautiful painting of a blue heron wading in a small backwater on the Hudson River.  Tatiana's Blue Heron just pulled me in and I had to see if I could duplicate this wonderful image using Vue and GIMP.  After many, many hours, with countless tweaks, adjustments and renders I finally realized that I would not be able to replicate Tatiana's artistic interpretation of this beautiful nature scene.  My end result is below.  If you follow the link above you can see Tatiana's painting to compare.  I highly recommend you take a look at her website and enjoy the amazing skill and depth Tatiana has.  Unfortunately, the pictures of her paintings do not do justice to the originals.  They need to be seen in person.  Take a few minutes and check out her site.

Blue Heron Wallpaper


One Step at a Time

Technology has been with us since early man formed the first stone tools.  We tend to forget that as we journey through our days with our cell phones, tablets, GPS and Internet--the state-of-the-art.  But, state-of-the-art is transitory, and tomorrow's technology will make today's look ancient. 

Five thousand years ago, the ancient Egyptians were perfecting their state-of-the-art in the construction of buildings we marvel at today.  The precision and scope of what they did on the Giza Plateau with the Great Pyramid of Khufu amaze us today with all of our modern science and technology.  But, the Egyptians developed their technology by first building mounds for burial chambers, followed by single level structures -- mestabas, which evolved into multi-level structures known as step pyramids, the Pyramid of Djoser is a great example, and the pinnacle of their achievements, the classic pyramids we see at Giza. 

The image below celebrates that evolution, the intellect and the ingenuity of this ancient civilization.

Wallpaper of Pyramids


Exile

With the current estimate that one out of every five stars in our Milky Way galaxy has an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone, we may be looking at a minimum of about 500 million planets in the galaxy that might harbor life of some sort.  This number is probably easily an order of magnitude higher or more if we consider planets on the fringe of the habitable zones and their moons.

Exile is about one poor sole in one such system that has been banished to a cold, wintery world where he can see his home planet rise every night -- not the large lifeless moon, but the distant pale blue dot, flanked by its two moons.

Wallpaper - Exile


Change of Season

It's not too hard to imagine an extraterrestrial planet in some distant star system, with the right geological evolution and astronomical orientation, that its inhabitants have built their own version of Stonehenge to mark the change of seasons.

Wall paper Change of Season


Orcas' Moon

Are we the only creatures on this amazing planet that can appreciate the beauty of a full Moon floating above the horizon?  This thought was the seed for this wallpaper of a pod of orcas pausing to take in the view.  Sophisticated animals, with complex societies and language, killer whales may just be able to appreciate the world around them.  Maybe someday we will be able share their thoughts on a rising Moon.

Orca's watching the full Moon rise.


ANHK

An early wallpaper, working with Vue Esprit for the first time and combining alien themes with one of my favorite topics - ancient Egypt.

 Wallpaper Anhk - Orbital Maneuvers


Tree of Life

Inspired by the majestic, mystical tree in the movie, "The Fountain".  The movie has many amazing images, especially toward the end as they approach the Orion Nebula.

Original Version

 Wallpaper, Tree of Life - Orbital Maneuvers

Updated Version

Wallpaper - Tree of Life-4

Ancient Dreams

Earth's first probe to a planet in the habitable zone of a distant star, finds a moon that is Earth-like in many respects.  But, this temple, built in homage to the ringed gas-giant that graces its skies, is all that remains of a long extinct civilization of that moon.  We were too late...

Wallpaper, Ancient Dreams - Orbital Maneuvers


From the Past to the Future

The meeting of two icons of science fiction literature are here in this mash-up of Verne and Clark.  Both men were visionaries of the capabilities of humankind.

Wallpaper, From the Past to the Future - Orbital Maneuvers

  

Rising Cluster

Globular clusters are amazing spherical collections of old generation stars, like mini galaxies, which can contain hundreds of thousands of stars.  It would be an amazing sight to visit a planet that was near enough to a cluster to see it dominate the night sky like a perpetual firework!

Wallpaper, Rising Cluster - Orbital Maneuvers

Summer Crescent Moon

A warm summer night, quiet and still, given over to the crescent Moon as the Sun slides beyond the horizon.

Summer Crescent MoonWallpaper, Summer Crescent Moon - Orbital Maneuvers

© 2009-2017, RC Davison