Alpha Centauri


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Just yesterday it was announced that a planet has been discovered around the closest star system to Earth, Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri is a triple-star system that lies approximately 4.3 light-years away. It consists of a binary system, Alpha Centauri A and B which are similar in composition to our own sun. And orbiting this binary is a red dwarf called Proxima Centauri.

The discovered planet is orbiting Alpha Centauri B and has a mass very similar to the Earth. There’s just one problem – it has an orbital period of only 3.24 days! That means it is extremely close its parent star making it nothing but a super-cooked husk but it still leaves possibility for other planets to be in the system. You can read more about the discovery here.

The image I made shows this new planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B along with Alpha Centauri A and Proxima Centauri in the background. Thanks to the Bad Astronomer for letting me know that Proxima Centauri is in reality a lot dimmer than shown in the image and if you were standing on this planet it would barely be visible to the naked eye.

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One Small Step


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This image depicts an alien civilization’s first step to becoming a space-faring species. The largest rocky body in their planet’s ring system holds the wreckage of an ancient alien ship that they have looked upon for decades with their telescopes and now with their first  space flight they are finally about to explore it.

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Additional credit: Ramship model by VK08, Harridan model by Ignus Fast

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Fleet of Worlds


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The Fleet of Worlds is a group of planets home to the Pierson’s Puppeteer race from the “Ringworld” novel. It includes their main homeworld, Hearth, with a population of a trillion Puppeteers, and four farming worlds to feed them all. They are all equally sized and organized into a Klemperer Rosette.

When the Puppeteers learned that the Galactic core was exploding and would eventually destroy them, they decided to flee the galaxy — and take their planets with them. Using technology from the mysterious Outsiders they are able to move their planets at 80% of light speed to their ultimate goal of the Lesser Magellanic Cloud which will take about 85,000 years. Puppeteers are fanatically devoted to their own safety and considered using starships to be far too dangerous.

Since they cannot take a star with them, a string of artificial suns orbit the farm worlds while the main world produces enough heat and light on its own to not need a sun.

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Planet Arrakis


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Planet Arrakis from the Dune universe along with its two moons as described in the books.

“Arrakis … Dune … wasteland of the Empire, and the most valuable planet in the universe. Because it is here — and only here — where spice is found. The spice. Without it there is no commerce in the Empire, there is no civilization. Arrakis … Dune … home of the spice, greatest of treasure in the universe. And he who controls it, controls our destiny.” -Princess Irulan

1920×1200 (16:10) version by request here.

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They’re Alive


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This image is inspired by that scene in the movie Contact (1997) where Elaenor Arroway (Jodie Foster’s character) comes out of the first Wormhole and sees a planet below with patterned lights on the night side surface and says “they’re alive!” before being sent into the next wormhole. Interesting tidbit: “Contact” was one of the very first films Weta Digital did visual effects work on before doing the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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Planet Chulak


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Chulak orbits a binary star system approximately 2000 light years from Earth. Apophis’ fleet of Ha’tak motherships can be seen orbiting the planet. It is a planet featured extensively in the television series Stargate: SG-1.

Additional credits: Ha’tak 3d model from Meurig

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Leaving Home


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A civilization that has poisoned their home world beyond repair sends out a fleet of Ark Ships in a final effort to preserve their civilization. Even traveling at 0.99c, it will take centuries to reach their destination. Many generations will live and die aboard the Ark Ships.

You can download a cropped 1080p wallpaper here.

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