This month’s header picture is a variation on Mandelbrot’s set (M set) done on Xaos. If you have a Mac or Linux machine and some interest on fractal geometry, you should try GNU Xaos. This small program let’s you explore several known fractals interactively. It will also record your explorations in video, or take snapshots.

The original Mandelbrot’s set is defined as the set of complex numbers for which the iteration z ↔ z²+c is convergent (the symbol should be a double harpoon, but I cannot make it render on all browsers). Contrary to other programs, Xaos let’s you edit the formula that generates the fractal (you are still limited within certain families of fractal, I think). Just for fun, I put the formula z ↔ z²+ 0.99*c and this resulted on a distorted M set, that still resembles the original one, but lack much of the original symmetry.

The image was then edited in GIMP: the colour space was altered, the low contrast area was blurred and darkened, and a brighter blurred overlay was added to make the picture “glow” a little bit.