How Far Away are Our Nearest Stars?


With the recent announcement that their may be a habitable planet just 12 light-years away from Earth, the question keeps getting asked – just how far are the closest solar systems to our own planet? This graphic created by shows that – the closest stars and their accompanying solar systems – giving us a better perspective of what’s out there in the neighborhood for us to explore.

The Solar System: Beautifully Visualized in Scale

If you could get all the planets in the galaxy together for a photo shoot in the studio, it would probably look a lot like these insanely well done illustrations of the planetary crew. That’s right too… these aren’t Photoshopped satellite images, but actually 3D digital illustrations of our most local cosmic neighbors.

Created by freelance designer David Fuhrer, each of the planets is rendered against a white background, much like one would photograph a new car in the studio. The stark background brings out the bright hues of the colorful orbs, unlike the starry black background we are used to seeing.

The Evolving Surface of a Fractal Planet

A grey planet revolves, it’s surface constantly changing texture and shape. Valleys form, mountains sprout out of flat surfaces… such is the creative work of Tom Beddard. An ex-physicist, he likes to make home-brew programs that generate interesting math based images and shapes.

Beddard makes his works interactive whenever possible. He is currently working on a fractal explorer that will allow us to manipulate images like the video featured here. Be sure to check out his blog, including it’s many math based toys at

A Julian Assange Portrait Made with 3D Globes

Playing off the globes in the hourglass logo of the WikiLeaks website, computer artist Charis Tsevis has created a highly detailed portrait of Julian Assange. Represented entirely using 3d images of the earth, each planet is rotated so their different face dictates the color. The original image is a hugely detailed 6656 x 6656 pixels. We think it is absolutely brilliant.