Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Galilean Satellites- Callisto!

Finally! I feel so neglectful of poor little Callisto. I got my firewire cable in the mail on Monday and re-rendered Callisto last night.

Callisto is the final film in The Galilean Satellites series. She is silent. This film was complete magic toward the end. I had not quite expected the results that I got, but I was awed by them.

Callisto is also one of the most heavily cratered bodies in the solar system. Jupiter's gravity attracts comets, meteoroids, and other objects and Callisto, being far away and tectonically inactive, bears thousands of years worth of battle scars. She also has the lowest density of the Galilean Satellites and it is thought that there might be an ocean beneath her rocky crust.

The imagery consists of liquid crystal paints and rubbing alcohol (like I said, magic). Enjoy:

Click on the above image to watch the film in Quicktime or go to Callisto on to see the film in flash video format. Click on the title of this post if you would like to know more about the film.


The Irish Jesus said...

Yo, SD... I'm making the rounds, waiting for the MOV to finish downlo.....

Okay, I'm back. It finished, and I watched it.

Anyway, so, first off, regarding Callisto's lack of tectonic activity, and the belief of a "subcallistian" ocean... would these two beliefs be in contrast? Isn't tectonic activity a result of a liquid core?

Also, I'm curious about how you make your films? Are they time-lapse? Or do you shoot a bunch of still frames and stick them together?

sea dot said...

Good questions!

They are time-lapse of a sort. I make them with an optical printer, so they are essentially "animations," most of which are hand-painted directly onto film stock.

Callisto was pretty much "time lapse" when I began melting the paint with alcohol.

As for the moon itself, "tectonic" generally refers to movement of a body's surface or crust. So, a body can have a liquid core or a moving, convective middle and be tectonically inactive in that the surface doesn't change (through quakes and volcanic activity).

But, yeah, tectonic activity is due to movement beneath, which is why people are so fascinated by techtonically active moons like Europa. In short, you can have a liquid inside and no tectonic activity, but you can't really have tectonic activity without a liquid inside.

In the case of Callisto, scientist think that it has a liquid interior due to a special signatures in its magnetic field.