Forget The Death Star, Apple Has Destroyed Another Galaxy In Mountain Lion [Image]

Forget The Death Star, Apple Has Destroyed Another Galaxy In Mountain Lion [Image]

This image of the NGC 3190 Galaxy is the one Apple altered for Mountain Lion.

Back when OS X Lion first came out, amateur and pro astronomers alike noted with bemusement that Apple had used their new operating system as an excuse to alter the Universe according to their whim. Most notably, when picking a picture of the Andromeda Galaxy as OS X Lion’s default wallpaper, Apple photoshopped several stars and an entire separate galaxy out of the picture.

When Apple debuted the next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, with a brand new galactic image as the default wallpaper, we wondered if Apple had done it again. As it turns out, they have.

The galaxy that Apple ended up using for the default Mountain Lion wallpaper is the NGC 3190, a spiral galaxy in the Leo constellation. The image of the galaxy Apple used was the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day, which describes the galaxy like this:

Some spiral galaxies are seen almost sideways. NGC 3190, one such galaxy, is the largest member of the Hickson 44 Group, one of the nearer groups of galaxies to our own Local Group of galaxies. Pictured above, finely textured dust lanes surround the brightly glowing center of this picturesque spiral. Gravitational tidal interactions with other members of its group have likely caused the spiral arms of NGC 3190 to appear asymmetric around the center, while the galactic disk also appears warped. NGC 3190 spans about 75,000 light years across and is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo).

Forget The Death Star, Apple Has Destroyed Another Galaxy In Mountain Lion [Image]

Apple removed several galaxies and added a number of stars to the vicinity of the NGC 3190 galaxy in Mountain Lion.

It’s a beautiful image, but as usual, Apple has applied its creative filter to the vast splendor of the universe, applying an ethereal blue light to the galaxy and Photoshopping out of the image several other galaxies, while also putting in a number of stars that don’t actually exist.

Check out the full-res NASA image here and then compare it to the full-res Mountain Lion wallpaper here. Oh, how cavalierly Apple alters the very fabric of a galactic body more than 439 quadrillion miles across. God complex much?

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  • ichiroa

    wow, people really have nothing better to do with their time.

  • Pawel Falkowski

    ok.. so, here is corrected version… enjoy:)
    http://www.reorder.pl/lion_wall_corre...

  • Pawel Falkowski
  • tornacious

    I like the Apple photoshoped image better.

  • prof_peabody

    I don’t get why this even matters or is unusual or is unexpected or anything.  I didn’t understand the “criticism” of the first one either. 

    What exactly is being argued by the people who point this out?  That it’s “bad” that the galaxy pictures were made more attractive??  Don’t people realise that almost every picture you see today in any kind of commercial context has been similarly “shopped?”  

    Every product image, and every picture in almost every magazine of a movie star, a set, a famous place etc. is done this way.  It started with picture postcards and overpainting in the 1910′s and has been that way ever since.    

  • James McMillan

    still better than any default windows or linux background I have ever seen.

  • tcdriver

    Why does this even matter? The Apple version looks much better anyway.

  • Bob Forsberg

    The Wraith and System Lords made Apple do it.

  • Russell Arteaga

    I think it was an attempt at humor.

  • HornKirsten14

    my roomate’s sister-in-law earned $14851 last month. she is getting paid on the laptop and moved in a $499100 house. All she did was get blessed and put to work the clues exposed on this web site >>>> LazyCash1.com

  • Unis Zuurmond

    I’m kind of tired with these galaxy wallpapers.

  • eyyad

    good for her

  • kavok

    Meh.  I don’t see what the big deal is.  People that create wallpapers for desktops etc. rarely use a photograph of anything without doctoring it before using it.  Apple isn’t any different and I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to focus on a single galaxy.  Having said that, the original picture IS mind blowing when you think about how big all those galaxies in the background and how many of them there are.

    Mr. Brownlee if you don’t like Apple so much (seems that way from the last couple years of articles you’ve written) why are you an editor for an Apple-centric weblog?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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