Psyche Inspired: G. Marshall Wolff

Institution: University of Colorado Colorado Springs

Major: Physics

Psyche Inspired Class: 2021-2022

How Big is 16 Psyche?

G. Marshall Wolff

December 10, 2021

Major: Physics

Genre/Medium: Infographic/Digital/Illustrator and Photoshop

About the work: This project is meant to give a more vivid idea of how large the (16) Psyche asteroid is in comparison to things people actually have experience with. Although size comparisons on larger scales are useful, it can be difficult to grasp the size of something extremely large when comparing it to something else extremely large. However, we also had to ensure we didn’t spread a misconception that the asteroid was going to hit Earth. So, although a view of the asteroid in a perspective from Earth was exciting, it was also terrifying. For this route, we decided to use the view of New York City and Hawaii from space, images that people are familiar with and can potentially relate to real-life experiences of seeing them from planes. The mass and density of the asteroid were also helpful in providing a more physical connection. Finally, adding in a portion that shows how we know the size of Psyche was included to help it feel more real and concrete.

The Spacecraft’s Journey to a Metal World

G. Marshall Wolff

March 23, 2022

Major: Physics

Genre/Medium: 3D Animation

About the work: It is easy to become so focused on the destination that we forget what it takes to get there. The Psyche spacecraft will have to travel for years before revealing the metal world’s secrets, but this will be more than a long trip through the emptiness of space. The spacecraft and the team that built it will be busy making sure everything goes correctly, including a gravity assist around Mars, as well as preparing for all the data they will obtain once it arrives. The hope was to provide an accessible (and colorful) view of the spacecraft’s path through space and show the excitement of a Mars gravity assist and the final approach to the asteroid. The gravity assist, although simplified, was actually modelled after the Mars Express’s time lapse (“Looking at the Limb of Mars with UMC”) for a more realistic sense of what the maneuver entails. Although sped up a great deal, I hope this animation provides some idea of the amount of work a NASA mission takes to plan and of the great distance and time the spacecraft will travel on its journey to (16) Psyche.

Psyche Inspired

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Psyche Inspired