pine tree and starry sky
Credit: Bill Dunford

Near Daniels Summit, Utah. I think the tree is a Douglas Fir, but I’m having a surprisingly hard time verifying that.

I’m nostalgic about this one because it contains the planet Saturn–and Cassini, three months to the day before Cassini disappeared forever into the planet. I put this one to use in a sketchbook page.

Sketchbook Page #3

In 1772, Captain James Cook set out on his second voyage of discovery aboard HMS Resolution.

vintage map
A chart of the south polar region by James Cook, tracing his second voyage of discovery, 1772–75.

In 1997, the women and men of the Cassini mission sent their spacecraft on its way to Saturn, where it explored a small, enigmatic moon. Enceladus. Simply, in my opinion, the most interesting place beyond Earth that we know of.

multimedia art
Location: Saturn | Mission: Cassini | Date: April 8, 2018 | Credit: Bill Dunford. Click to enlarge.

Sketchbook Page #2

When I came across this photo a few weeks ago it made me sigh. It contains the planet Saturn and, unseen, the Cassini spacecraft nearby. Three months later, to the day, the Cassini mission ended when the spacecraft intentionally plunged into the planet, never to return.

Like many who worked on the mission, my heart remains broken even now in a way that still surprises me.

mixed media page
Location: Earth (looking toward Saturn) | Mission: Cassini | Date: April 4, 2018. Credit: Bill Dunford. Click to enlarge.