More art and science are colliding! The Lunar and Planetary Institute is hosting the Humans in Space Youth Art Competition. Kids from anywhere in the world ages 10 – 18 are encouraged to express their feelings about human spaceflight using "…visual, literary, musical and video artwork".
I’m a big supporter of scientific art, and I think this is a great idea. If you’re that age, or know someone who is, let them know! The deadline for submitting the work is midnight U.S. Central Standard Time, November 15, 2012. The website has the details.
Go! Be artistic!
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.
– 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)
I’m always comparing astronomy to art, and sometimes that’s literally true, like when artist David Fuhrer creates amazing near-3D images of the planets:
That’s very cool, and even niftier, they’re to scale! The colors aren’t real — the image of Venus (next to Earth) he used is from radar mapping of the planet from the Magellan spacecraft, and Mercury (second from left) is actually a relatively uniform grey — but this really gives you a sense of the innermost terrestrial planets (and one bonus Moon — ours, all the way on the left in that image).
You should also check out this family portrait of all the planets together — man, Jupiter and Saturn are way bigger even than Uranus and Neptune!
These images were created for a TV documentary, and I’ve filed David’s name away if I ever need it for something like this. He has other cool images, too. Digital imagery is really amazing, and I wonder how many people have been introduced to art — both the creation and appreciation of it — due to its advent?
Images used by permission of David Fuhrer. Tip o’ the electron to srahhh on Twitter.
A few months ago, I wrote about an art exhibit in NYC based on my book Death from the Skies! Brian George, one of the artists who put this exhibit together, just posted a very cool blog entry about it too.
He posted some great picture on Picasa, which you can see in the slideshow below or on Picasa directly.
I am totally blown away by the sculpture Solar Flares and CMEs. In the book, I describe how the tangling of the Sun’s magnetic field lines is like a bag full of springs under tension. How I pictured that in my head is almost exactly duplicated by that piece.
I could not get to NYC for the exhibit, but I really wish I had. The artwork is amazing, almost as amazing as the feeling I get thinking that a book I wrote for my own nefarious purposes actually inspired a group of artists to create such wonderful and astonishing pieces. My thanks to all of them for swelling my head just a little bit more.