As unbelievable as it may seem, space photos just got a bit more amazing.
Normally, the celestial sights we gaze at -- such as ribbons of colorful gas and dust, wound around monstrous, dark caverns or splashed in front of star-studded skies -- are flat. Two dimensional.
Now, Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsavainio has rendered some spacescapes in three dimensions, using his own photographs as a starting point. "Objects in the images are not like paintings on the canvas, but really three-dimensional objects floating in the three-dimensional space," he said in an e-mail.
First, Metsavainio collects information about how far away an object is, and carefully studies the stars and structures in and around it. Then, he creates a volumetric model of his subject -- usually a nebula, although he's rendered at least one globular star cluster. Finally, he animates the 3-D rendering, providing viewers with a tantalizing taste of what it might be like to fly a starship through these enormous astronomical ornaments.
"How accurate the final model is, depends how much I have known and guessed right," Metsavainio said. Many of his renderings carry the statement: "NOTE: This is a personal vision about shapes and volumes, based on some scientific data and an artistic impression."
Weitere irre schöne 3D-Animationen gibt es hier: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/nebulas-in-3-d/?pid=6309