Tag: Lucy West

The brush strokes of star birth

By Phil Plait | September 17, 2012 6:30 am

Every now and again I see something so simply stunning that it leaves me speechless.

OK, I’m kidding; I’m never speechless. But this really is flipping amazing.

Tell me: which of these two pictures below is a Hubble Space Telescope image of the nebula Sharpless 2-106, a massive young star blasting out jets of gas, and which is a painting by my delightful space artist friend Lucy West?

… or …

You might be forgiven if it’s not easy to tell. Of course, the one on the bottom has Lucy’s signature on it, making this task somewhat easier. But seriously, if I showed you just the art itself, you’d have a hard time telling which is which. FYI, it’s acrylic on canvas, and is 30" by 48".

Lucy is seriously good. I met her at SpaceFest IV and we hit it off instantly – she’s smart, funny, and holy cow, what an amazing artist. When she posted that photo of her painting on Facebook, I immediately asked her if I could put it up here. Wow.

And she picked a heckuva target to paint. Sharpless 2-106 is a complex, gorgeous nebula, which I explained in detail in an earlier post. If you want – and you do – here’s a higher-res version of the Hubble shot, and Lucy has a somewhat bigger shot of her painting on her website. She also has a look at the process she did to make the painting , too, which is fascinating.

Do yourself a favor, and do what I do: surround yourself with smart, talented friends. They make life far more interesting, and far more fun to live.

Image credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Lucy West (used by permission)

Related Posts:

Epic tantrum thrown by 30 octillion ton baby
When a star struggles to be free of its chrysalis
The gorgeous birth pangs of young stars
Come to SpaceFest IV!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Pretty pictures

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