All these worlds are yours…

By Phil Plait | September 29, 2011 1:30 pm

I’ve known Dan Durda since college. We went to Michigan together, studying astronomy. He wound up getting into asteroids and exoplanets, and may yet be part of a team that will save the Earth from an impact.

A few years back, he started dabbling in art, and discovered he was good at it. In fact, I’d say he’s really good at it. His stuff has graced magazine covers and articles, and even this blog (see the Related posts section below).

See what I mean? His stuff is crazy beautiful.

And now you can own it. He’s created his own CafePress store where he’s got some of his work as prints. You can also get a 2012 calendar (yes, it goes all the way through December; Dan and I are both real astronomers) called "All These Worlds…", with some breathtaking artwork.

He also has a gallery of his work online you should check out simply because it’s fantastic. Through Dan I’ve met quite a few space artists, people whose work I have respected for many years. And they all get this look in their eye when they talk about Dan; they’re impressed by him.

OK, enough gushing. Go take a look, and enjoy. I’m pretty sure you will.

Related posts:

The Beauty of Space
Motherlode of potential planets found: more than 1200 alien worlds!
Hungry Hungry Asteroid
The galaxy may swarm with billions of wandering planets (maybe my favorite drawing by Dan)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Pretty pictures
MORE ABOUT: Art, Dan Durda

Comments (32)

  1. Jay

    … except Europa.

  2. Kaeli

    Oh, these are just stunning. I’ve seen plenty of them before of course but I never really paid attention to the artist. It’s great to know that he’s also an astronomer.

    That calendar will look really good above my desk, right next to my framed Hubble Deep Field print (my favorite image of space ever, never ceases to be the most humbling and awe-inspiring photograph I’ve ever seen)

  3. Chris

    It seems that many of the “planets” are actually moons of gas giants.

  4. Keith Bowden

    @Chris – “That’s no moon…”

    And hey! I come here for the astronomy! And the science. And skepticism. And political commentary. And pretty pictures.

    But I didn’t sign up for hucksterism! ūüėČ

    Seriously, nice work. Ooooooo!

  5. Alastair

    … Attempt no landing there…

  6. I don’t see the word “planets” anywhere in the promotion for the “All These Worlds …” calendar. They’re definitely worlds.

  7. Digital Atheist

    @#1 Jay:
    “… Attempt no landings there.”

  8. That is a nice image. It looks like he’s using e-on software’s Vue which is my favorite digital art app. For those who like this kind of art, a few sites: has some good 3d render art too their digital section, but you have to weed through a lot of…’amateur’ stuff

  9. John Moore

    One more site is realy good artist as well…..

  10. Tony j

    Likes to use Vue D’ Esprit. Great fun to use. Reminds me of the stuff that I paint.

  11. Wzrd1

    Looks quite a lot about my wife’s work.
    I WILL check out Vue though and see how well she likes it.

  12. Crux Australis

    I would have bet money on this being a post about Europa.

  13. Randy A.

    Many of the worlds pictured would be uncomfortable to live on. They would either be tidally locked with the gas giant the orbit, or have massive tides, or both! Imagine tidal flats that stretch for hundreds of miles, and tidal bores a dozen meters high sweeping across the flats…

  14. Damon B.

    Journey, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Europe.

    All these bands are yours, except Europe.

    Attempt no reunions there.

  15. Wzrd1

    @Crux, #13: I thought the same, when I opened the post. I figured Phil would eventually move onto something about Europa.

  16. Jen Deland

    Beautiful. I want to

  17. K

    I’m a terraformer too.
    And I have a store.

    I guess it’s the IN thing to do.

  18. katwagner

    Art will save the world. And music. Music will save us too.

  19. Good lord, I just read his bio.

    I’m pretty sure he’s secretly in the Stargate program.

  20. Messier Tidy Upper

    Go take a look, and enjoy. I’m pretty sure you will.

    Yup. Absolutely will. :-)

    I love good spaceart. ūüėÄ

    Thanks! :-)

  21. Sameer

    yes, it goes all the way through December; Dan and I are both real astronomers

    OK. Didn’t quite get that one the first time…then I realized you’re talking about 2012. :-)

  22. Chris

    @ Randy A, #14: That’s what I thought too. If you can see the planet that nicely from the surface…. Yow. In addition to extreme tides, volcanism and earthquakes must be rampant.
    *Remembers some of the science articles behind “Avatar”*
    The gas giants’ electromagnetic fields must make things interesting, too.

  23. We see rings edge on. Does that mean we’re at equator?

  24. His work is absolutely stunning.

    I remember watching this TV show on NatGeo years ago, looking at what an another planet might be like. I was fascinated by all the strange creatures and the lush abandoned beauty of the place. IT was so serene and gorgeous.

    I never really thought much about the artists who might have made it, but now I know! His work is amazing. Thanks for the pointer to this, I will feature it on my art blog :)

  25. Buzz Parsec

    All the way through December? 2012? I just looked at the calendar on my wall. It ends on Dec 31, 2011! Teh end of the world is coming!! The Mayans were wrong!!! Panic!!!! Run for your lives!!!!!

    Okay, everyone already did the 2001 jokes, so I had to do the 2012 joke :-)

    Seriously, impressive photos. Does he use the same software to predict syzygies that Thierry Legault uses to predict ISS transits? And a TARDIS to get there? :-)

  26. George Martin
  27. Dustin

    And you haven’t watched Avatar, Phil? It’s more than worthwhile for Pandora alone.

  28. icemith

    @ 24 Craven :

    “We see rings edge on. Does that mean we‚Äôre at equator?”

    Well, not necessarily. The Rings as “shown”, could be at a time when the planet, just happens to be almost in line with the plane of the rings. As we know with Saturn, we do see the rings angled through a wide (wide-ish) view, determined mostly by the Earth’s +/-23.5 degrees yearly variations. I don’t know if there is any variation on Saturn’s part.

    There would be no rule that says that it could not happen elsewhere. However, the equally lit portions of the ringed planet, and the other planet/moon, seem to indicate they are almost in the same plane, only the banding on the planet’s surface may be a shadow of the rings, but may also be too far south on the surface to actually be a shadow.

    Nevertheless, this is a truly great realisation of what maybe out there. (Strike “maybe” and insert “is”, as I am certain that we are not the only fortunate beings in the Universe). The painting is also great in the detail, both biologically and geographically. That it could be on Earth is beside the point, the laws of physics apply everywhere, at least in a context that we can understand.

    Great painting, I will have to view others in the collection, the few thumbnails I saw are enticing. I have to now down-load them to see them in their glory.


  29. Arakiba

    I’d better not see Europa on there, buddy!


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