A series of holiday-style posters advertising the attractions of newly discovered planets have been designed by NASA.
The space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has used the style of vintage travel advertisements to showcase the tourist potential of worlds discovered by its Kepler telescope and the European Space Agency’s HARP technology.
Each graphic design shows a feature of a planet that could draw visitors, including higher gravity for extreme sports, spectacular plant-life and double sunsets.
One poster features a planet designed HD 40307g which is located 44 light years from Earth and is twice its size.
Skydiving through its atmosphere would create an intense adrenaline rush due to higher levels of gravity caused by its mass, which is eight times that of our own planet.
“Twice as big in volume as the Earth, HD 40307g straddles the line between ‘Super-Earth’ and ‘mini-Neptune’ and scientists aren’t sure if it has a rocky surface or one that’s buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice,” the team said.
“One thing is certain though: at eight times the Earth’s mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.”
Due to the fact that it is orbiting a Red Giant star, Kepler-186f’s flora might match the colours emitted by its sun. This could attract botanists to the planet, which was first spotted last year – a feature shown by the artwork.
“Kepler-186f is the first Earth-size planet discovered in the potentially ‘habitable zone’ around another star, where liquid water could exist on the planet’s surface,” said the designers.
“Its star is much cooler and redder than our Sun. If plant life does exist on a planet like Kepler-186f, its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star’s red-wavelength photons, making for a colour palette that’s very different than the greens on Earth.”
Discovered in 2011, Kepler-16b orbits two stars that would create a pair of shadows from objects on its surface at certain times. Visitors would also be able to watch both suns setting.
“Like Luke Skywalker’s planet Tatooine in Star Wars, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars,” said the team. “Depicted here as a terrestrial planet, Kepler-16b might also be a gas giant like Saturn.”
“Prospects for life on this unusual world aren’t good, as it has a temperature similar to that of dry ice. But the discovery indicates that the movie’s iconic double-sunset is anything but science fiction.”
The posters are available to download for free from NASA’s website.