Views on alien worlds
Have you ever looked at a spacecraft image of another world and asked, "what would that look like through my own eyes?"
Have you ever wondered how the ones and zeroes transmitted by spacecraft get turned into views of alien landscapes?
Did you know that nearly every last bit of data from every solar system explorer belongs to the public, and that most of it is available online for anybody to view?
To scientists, images are data, measurements of the properties of the surfaces and atmospheres of solar system bodies. To most of the public, the images are pretty pictures returned from interplanetary voyages. But to space enthusiasts, the images are a treasure trove to be sorted through, studied, processed, and shared.
Pretty Pictures and How to Make Them
NASA's space images are in the public domain; NASA exerts no copyright on them. However, once someone has taken that image and materially changed it, making a "derivative work," they may assert copyright. This page includes a list of correct credit lines for data from cameras flown in space.
In 2016, The Planetary Society’s LightSail program will take the technology a step further.