Retro NASA Travel Posters Invite You to Real Alien Worlds
These amazingly retro NASA travel posters feature three real-life alien planets: Kepler 186f, HD 40307g and Kepler 16b. They were created for NASA's PlanetQuest project at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California to share facts about the strange new worlds with the public.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

SEATTLE — Travel to distant alien worlds with two suns, red grass and strong gravity in three retro exoplanet posters produced by artists working with NASA.

A poster suggests what the view on exoplanet Kepler-16b might be like.
A poster suggests what the view on exoplanet Kepler-16b might be like.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The three posters — created by Joby Harris and David Delgado, visual strategists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California — feature artistic renderings of what it might be like to stand (or fly) on one of a trio of imagination-capturing alien worlds.

A poster invites visitors to experience the gravity of Super Earth HD 40307g.
A poster invites visitors to experience the gravity of Super Earth HD 40307g.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

One of the posters depicts Kepler 186f, a planet sometimes called "Earth's cousin." The exoplanet is slightly larger than Earth, and circles a star smaller and dimmer than the sun. The planet is the first small planet discovered in what might be its star's habitable zone — the area around a star that would allow a planet to support liquid water on its surface. The artist's depiction of the planet shows a world covered in red grass. [Exoplanet Art from the Mind of Lynette Cook]

"If plant life does exist on a planet like Kepler 186f, its photosynthesis could have been influenced by the star's red-wavelength photons, making for a color palette very different than the greens on Earth," the poster's planet description reads.

A travel poster produced by NASA/JPL-Caltech depicts exoplanet Kepler-186f, the first one to potentially harbor liquid water. The image suggests a world where a red sun has created plant life much different in color than the greenery of Earth. Image released Dec. 30, 2014.
A travel poster produced by NASA/JPL-Caltech depicts exoplanet Kepler-186f, the first one to potentially harbor liquid water. The image suggests a world where a red sun has created plant life much different in color than the greenery of Earth. Image released Dec. 30, 2014.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Another retro poster shows a skydiver flying high above the super-Earth HD 40307g, an exoplanet that eight time more massive than Earth. NASA officials don't know if the planet is rocky or has a surface "buried beneath thick layers of gas and ice," according to the poster. The planet's massive size means that its gravitational pull is very strong, making skydiving a potentially thrilling (and even scary) feat.

An astronaut marvels at the twin suns of the planet Kepler 16b. The world orbits two stars like Tatooine in the movie "Star Wars," but Kepler 16b might not be as life-friendly as the home of Luke Skywalker.

"Prospects for life on this unusual world aren't good as it has a temperature similar to dry ice," the NASA poster says. "But the discovery indicates that the movie's iconic double-sunset is anything but science fiction."

NASA officials printed out copies of three of the retro posters to pass out here at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, but they are not available for purchase. You can download the images to create your own posters directly through NASA's PlanetQuest website here.

Follow Miriam Kramer @mirikramer. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.