Cosmic Tourism: NASA Travel Posters for Real Exoplanets

travel posters

Illustrated in retro-futuristic style and inspired by classic Works Progress Administration designs, this set of faux-vintage travel poster prints is brought to you by NASA’s Exoplanet Travel Bureau. Explore possible destinations with their “Eyes on Exoplanets” tool then check flight times with their “Interstellar Trip Planner.” In an effort to highlight just how stellar their discoveries via the Kepler telescope really are, NASA produced this series along with a compelling sales pitch for each planet – of course, actually landing on (or even getting near) some of these would be a bit tricky.

nasa space tourism

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. One thing is certain though: at eight time the Earth’s mass, its gravitational pull is much, much stronger.

nasa intergalatic vacation

Like Luke Skywalker’s planet “Tatooine” in Star Wars, Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars. 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.

nasa travel kepler

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. 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 color palette that’s very different than the greens on Earth. This discovery was made by Kepler, NASA’s planet hunting telescope.

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See more in Retrofuturistic or under Vintage & Retro. March, 2015.