Kick in the Eye: A Rotating, 3D Nebula

This is one of those moments where you think you’ve found a reason for a gif. Sure, there’s kittens and movie moments but surely this is what a gif was for. This stunning image of an incredible astronomical body (star cluster IC 1396) captured by astrophotographer J-P Metsävainio.

Writes Metsävainio:

‘Since astronomical objects are too far away, no real parallax can be imaged. Doe to that, I have developed a method to turn my images to various 3D-formats. My work flow is based on scientific data from the object, distance and the source of ionization are usually known. The different types of the nebulae has typical structures, pillar like formations must point to the source of ionization, the radiation pressure forms kind of hollow area, inside of the nebula, around newly born stars, dark nebulae must be at front of the emission ones to show, etc… rest of the missing information is then replaced with an artistic vision. The whole process is pretty much like sculpting!’

Pretty remarkable — though, according to Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait, Metsävainio’s rendering is more art than science. Most of the stills that comprise this gif are actually artificially generated, “based on various assumptions on how nebulae are shaped.”

Valid and relevant point though it is Phil, there’s no need to kill the mood. Anything that moves people’s attention out to the stars above has to be a good thing for hardened astronomers such as himself.

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The Matrix: Reinstalled?

–UPDATE–

Looks like this is just a fan made hoax. Playlist recently posted that they’ve spoken to Reeves representatives and Mr Neo wasn’t even at the London School of Performing arts that day. It should be said that it’s a pretty good hoax to manage to get reported by as many sites as it did, but such is the nature of web journalism. Of course this doesn’t mean that new Matrix films aren’t being developed somewhere secretive (it’s not like the Wachowski’s are getting a buttload of work elsewhere) but it’s far from definite. You may all breath a collective sigh of relief and go back to pretending that the second two films don’t exist.

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For those who missed Revolutions and Reloaded or fans of heavy lifting gear with even heavier artillery and cyber-fu airborne gun battles this may be good news as Keanu Reeves, Neo in the original trilogy revealed plans are underway for two more sequels to the original ‘Matrix.’

Pizza Delivery in the Matrix. Tricky.

In an age where reboots and revisions of potentially lucrative franchises the actor hinted he and the writers of the franchise, Andy and Larry Wachowski, have discussed the possibility of shooting the two new movies in 3D and are reportedly referring to 3d Impressario and ‘Avatar’ creator James Cameron.

Hearing Keanu commenting during a key note speech at the London School of Performing Arts, a reporter for Ain’t It Cool News blogged up “They have completed work on a two picture script treatment that would see him return to the world of ‘The Matrix’ as Neo.

“Keanu says the brothers have met with Jim Cameron to discuss the pros and cons of 3D and are looking to deliver something which has never been seen again. He stated that he still has an obligation to the fans to deliver a movie worthy of the title ‘The Matrix’ and he swears this time that the treatment will truly transform the action genre like the first movie.”

According to the report, the Wachowskis are looking to complete their current project ‘Cloud Atlas’ before discussing the possibility of adding the Matrix sequels so time to discuss the liklihood of a return of Neo to the world of the Matrix.

Whether the end result will be a return to form for the Wachowski’s who primarily built their success on technological advancements in Cinema is yet to be seen and clearly will not be seen for a great long time to come. Whether a return to the rather bitter memories of ‘The Matrix’ is a good idea or not will not be clear; the prospect of two filmmakers as adept with adapting new technology as the Wachowskis will likely generate a project worth talking about.

Still something to watch out for. You heard it here first (otherwise why’d you bother reading the same thing again?).