Get pumped for ‘In Saturn’s Rings’, a stunning million-image flyby video

Click image to see the 2 1/2-minute Vimeo of Stephen van Vuuren’s first efforts at a seamless flyby of Saturn using Cassini images.

South African filmmaker Stephen van Vuuren has a surprise for you. His passion for the spectacular images of Saturn’s rings made by the orbiting Cassini spacecraft since 2004 inspired him to create the short test film Outside In back in 2010. Now he’s back with a bigger, better version In Saturn’s Rings.

Van Vuuren used thousands of images from the Cassini archive to create a strikingly realistic journey through the Saturn system in that early effort. Paired with Samuel Barber’s music Adagio for Strings, a lot of us got goosebumps watching it.

Click to see the railer for the upcoming movie “In Saturn’s Rings” by Stephen van Vuuren

In the new, longer version retitled In Saturn’s Rings, van Vuuren has upped his game with more than a million images and new film techniques to create a high-definition IMAX film set to be released next year. Click on the photo to see the trailer, and be sure you select the ‘original 4K quality’ to revel in its full glory.

Saturn’s largest moon Titan, wrapped in its orange, smog-like atmosphere, floats above Saturn’s ring plane in a frame grab from In Saturn’s Rings. Credit: NASA/JPL

No computer generated images (CGI) were used in the movie, just the real thing. Only the motion was computer generated through zooming, panning, tilting, etc. similar to what you’d see in a PBS documentary. That’s what makes this movie special. And what better celebrity than Saturn to fill a full-dome screen with accompanying concert surround-sound?

Still frame from the Saturn flyby sequence in the film clip. Credit: NASA/JPL

If there was ever a cosmic object that demanded your full visual field, Saturn’s it. The rings span some155,000 miles (250,000 km). If one end of the ring plane were touching Earth, the other end would reach two-thirds the way to the moon. Yet the rings are exceptionally thin, only 30 feet (10 m) thick.

Once completed, the film is slated to run at IMAX theaters, full dome planetariums, museums and select movie theaters. In the meantime, enjoy a taste. More information about the project can be found on the movie’s website.

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

5 thoughts on “Get pumped for ‘In Saturn’s Rings’, a stunning million-image flyby video

  1. Aloha Astro Bob and Everyone!

    I love that this “film/movie” is dedicated to the memory of Carl Sagan and Stanley Kubrick. I would LOVE to sit next to either one of them (preferably, the former) and watch their expressions as they watched even this 2 1/2 (two and a half, approx.) minute clip. It might be difficult to prove to Dr. Sagan that these are REAL images taken by one of our unmanned spacecraft, even I have a hard time believing that! The clarity is almost eye-numbing at times.

    I actually use one of Cassini’s photo’s for my “general” background picture on my PC. I’m thoroughly loving this ‘mission’ of Cassini’s and almost can’t get enough of it. It is so very, very far away and STILL in the solar system. Ah, technology…gotta love it. The better it gets, the more we learn.

    Mahalo Nui Loa for the (as always) great blog and pictures/videos. I’ve actually bookmarked the aforementioned clip! ;-}

    Aloha Just For Now!

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