Watch: 'Wanderers' Is One of the Most Inspiring Sci-fi Movies of 2014

Watch: 'Wanderers' Is One of the Most Inspiring Sci-fi Movies of 2014

Dec 01, 2014

Many, many videos have been made combining beautiful images of planet Earth with the impeccable prose of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, but now a true stunner has taken the throne as king of them all. If you liked Interstellar - or even just the actual space bits of Interstellar - you're going to love Wanderers.

Created by Erik Wernquist, Wanderers takes Sagan's audio-book reading of select Pale Blue Dot passages and lays it over some pretty impressive imagery that depicts mankind's voyages across deep space. It's sort of like a space-tourism advert, only it gets extra bonus points as Wernquist rendered all the visuals using real astronomy photos and map data.

Check it out. And if you'd like to go deeper and learn about how the short was made, check out Erik Wernquist's site.

A sample of the science behind the Jupiter shot at the top of this post:

"This scene shows a group of people hiking across the icy plains of Jupiter's moon Europa. Jupiter itself as well as another moon - Io - is seen beyond the horizon. The scene takes place on the night side of Europa so the landscape is lit entirely by reflected sunlight off Jupiter (and to a small extent off Io). The shot is designed to look as if it would have been filmed from a moving vehicle and with a very long lens so that the bulk of Jupiter fills the entire field of view, like a huge wall in the background.

The inspiration for this shot comes from this amazing photo (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120408.html) from January 1, 2001, taken by the Cassini spacecraft as it flew by Jupiter on its way to Saturn. It shows the moon Io passing in front of Jupiter and ever since I first saw it, I have tried to imagine what it would feel like to be standing on the night side of that moon, looking up at huge Jupiter, glowing in the sky. Now, this photo is also taken with a very long lens, so Jupiter, although huge, would not appear anything like this to a human standing on the moon.

For a person standing on Io, Jupiter would take up about 20 degrees of the sky, that is 38 times the size in the sky of our Moon as seen from Earth. That must still be an impressive sight. And from Europa, which is in an orbit further out from Io, and where this particular shot takes place, Jupiter would take up nearly 12 degrees of the sky, about 24 times larger than our Moon appears to us from Earth."

 

 

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