An out of this world view

If there's one word that the latest space tourism projects are hyping to try to get more tourists to drop some serious cash (as much as $150,000 per ticket) for a trip to the edge of space, it's view.

From crafts that have dozens of windows lining the rocket's sides and ceiling to the ability to “roll the vehicle” using thrusters—all space tourism programs promise their passengers an unobstructed view of the cosmos beyond Earth.

But what does space really look like?

For those buying tickets, artist Michael Benson's Otherworlds: Visions of Our Solar System is your sneak peek for your once in a lifetime trip.

Credit: NOAA-NASA-GOES Project/Michael Benson, Kinetikon Pictures

But for those not leaving Earth anytime soon, this exhibition is probably the closest one can ever get to seeing such an 'out of this world' view with their own eyes.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Dr. Paul Geissler

Where science meets art

"I feel like if these places are so alien to our direct experiences anyway, then they should be colored the way they would be seen," says Benson, referring to his process in creating the true color prints.

He takes raw data from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) missions and painstakingly, in his words, translates them into something that human eyes can recognize.

Because cameras aboard spacecrafts like New Horizons and Cassini capture images showing visible light (reds and blues) as well as invisible light (ultraviolet and infrared), most of the images available online aren't in 'true color.'

Benson takes all photos shot through visible light filters - light which the eyes can see - and tiles them together to create a true color composite.

"Astronomy is about our position in the universe, and that doesn't just belong to science," he says. "I am making the case that this is art."

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