CSIRO work — New Horizons comic and Sydney volcanoes diagram

In the last few weeks some great news and research has come out of the CSIRO, especially a fortnight ago when they were a part of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, and when their research vessel — RV Investigator — discovered a chain of massive underwater volcanoes off the coast of Sydney.

A few weeks before the #PlutoFlyby, I was commissioned by the communications team of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex to draw up a comic strip of how CSIRO was involved in the mission, and how New Horizons was communicating its data back to Earth.

They were looking for a comic format, which is ideal for my experience and pleasure!

I received a great initial concept sketch from the team from which I produced this draft sketch:

They were quite happy with this and so after implementing their suggestions and changes, I used it as the foundation for the final version. And since it’s digital, I could go right over this draft with the final lines.

I’m quite happy with the final version. As usual, it took 2.5x longer than anticipated. Oh well, I had fun.

A day or two following the big Pluto reveal was another, more terrestrial, one: the Sydney Volcanoes. This was a great and strange discovery. It was fun in my mind since I’ve always imagined Australia as having a relatively stable geological temperament. What made the discovery more immense was the size of the cluster.

They were kilometers wide and hundreds of metres high. I had trouble imagining what this meant so I used Google Maps to find a sector(?) of the Sydney CBD from around Sydney Tower to the Shangri-La/Circular Quay.

It’s a very rough comparison, since it was difficult getting standardised measurements of the city slice. The volcano used in this comparison is one of the smaller ones, but one with a larger or the largest caldera (opening at the top). It was fun to do, and I’d like to work on more comparisons in the future.