It’s Been Quite a Ride

At work we posted an interesting package of stories about citizen scientists Did you know anyone can help NASA scientists with real research? Check it out: solarsystem.nasa.gov/citizenscience . Some of my sketchbook page pieces are based on citizen science projects.

We even included a few profiles of people who made the leap from the amateur community to working at NASA, and they picked me for one of them: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/ne…/400/the-ride-of-a-lifetime/ 

I’m one fortunate SOB.

Bill Dunford by Viking lander model
Photo by Sam Dunford

Pine

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.

Terra Cognita – Updated

See below for July 2015 update

When I first made this graphic, it included two unexplored worlds: Ceres and Pluto, and 2015 seemed impossibly far away.

Now here we are, and only one remains. Of course, all these places have centuries of exploration ahead, but the era of unveiling major worlds in our solar system for the first time is reaching its twilight, right before our eyes. I almost don’t want it to end.

Almost.

Terra Cognita
Some worlds of the solar system before and after they were explored by recent spacecraft.

Updated July 2015

Now this chart is complete. (But the exploration of the solar system is not.)

before and after
Some worlds of the solar system before and after they were explored by recent spacecraft.