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  Rosetta orbits comet; Sharpening upAug 07, 2014 1:04 AM PDT | url
Added 1 new A* page:The big space news today is that the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe entered orbit around comet 67P, the first time a man-made spacecraft has accomplished such a feat. It is currently in a thruster-assisted sort of triangular orbit around the bizarrely peanut-or-rubber-ducky-shaped comet, which measures 3 to 4 km across...very roughly. Its path to the comet was even more complex, covering some 6 billion km and utilizing gravity assists from both Earth and Mars—and then it had to match the comet's 55,000 km/hr velocity almost exactly. So, neat. Once the comet gets close enough to the Sun, gasses will start shooting out, and it is hoped that Rosetta will be able to enter that gassy "coma" and take measurements—and eventually, if all continues to go well, it will launch a lander that will harpoon itself to the comet and drill into it.
Tried a bunch of various techniques on today's page, probably twice as many as I should have used on any one page, buuuut I suppose this experience will stand me in good stead for next episode's all-underwater (different planet, mind you) action. ; ) One technique I tried today, but not on the page itself, was something a reader told me about oh probably a year or so ago, namely sprinkling salt onto wet watercolor; the salt sucks the watercolor in, then (if it was wet enough) dissolves, leaving the pigment in nifty crystalline patterns:
Another reason why my going maybe slightly slightly overboard with the layers of murk on today's page was helpful is because it made me realize, once it came time to process the watercolor painting into a digital image, that I haven't been applying sufficient digital sharpening to these watercolor pages, so, if you compare today's more fully Sharpened one to the previous ones, you'll notice that the previous ones, by comparison, look slightly out of focus. Sheesh! So hopefully this weekend I'll be able to go back through the last two episodes and Sharpen 'em up.
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