|Earth as photographed from Gemini 11
|Southern tip of the Indian subcontinent from an altitude of 760 kilometers (Gemini 11).
Now look at this still from 2001. It's beautiful, but it's also--what? Let's say, "scientifically vague". Was this the director's deliberate intention? I want to emphasize that Kubrick was meticulous in such matters--the technological artifacts and astronomical subjects exhibited in the film were each carefully-guided representational exercises based upon the latest scientific information. Naturally, apropos to the image of the Earth, Kubrick had the resources to create a more authentic image in these orbital scenes. But instead we get this exuberant aquamarine fantasy, moreover juxtaposed alongside a spectacularly detailed technological marvel.