"Maybe it's a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds, promising untold opportunities, beckon. Silently, they orbit the sun, waiting."
That's just one of the wonderful Carl Sagan quotes that form the narration for a new short film made by Stockholm computer animator Erik Wernquist. The film, entitled "Wanderers" takes you on a three-and-a-half minute journey throughout our solar system and envisions a world in which we will use space elevators, walk on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa and free-float in the rings of Saturn.
The atmospheric soundtrack by Cristian Sandquist, Sagan's wise and inspiring words, and Wernquist's clearly talented hand at computer animation make this one of the most enjoyable space videos you'll likely have seen this year.
What's even better is that Wernquist used actual photos and other scientific data in creating the film. For example, at 35 seconds in, we see a space capsule leaving Earth behind. That shot of our home planet was taken from the International Space Station on July 21, 2003 and the original can be seen here.
At one minute in, Wernquist says that the cryo geysers on the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus are taken from this photo snapped by the Cassini spacecraft in 2005.
The result is that, while there's certainly a healthy dose of imagination in the film, "Wanderers" is a really convincing depiction of what it will look like when can romp around our solar system as easily as flying to another country.
"Without any apparent story, other than what you may fill in by yourself, the idea of the film is primarily to show a glimpse of the fantastic and beautiful nature that surrounds us on our neighboring worlds -- and above all, how it might appear to us if we were there," says Wernquist in the notes about the film on Vimeo.
Check it out here, and be sure to see the gallery below that offers beautiful stills from the movie along with even more information about the real data and images that inspired the different shots.