Sunday, August 31, 2008

Coronal Mass Ejections

Solar storms like one that occurred in 1859 could disrupt communications worldwide.

Here's a drawing entitled "Coronal Mass Ejection" from my Plane Symmetry Connects series. (It's only an interpretation, not a scientifically accurate diagram.) :

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Standing Waves

The title, "Standing Waves", is not meant to imply that this drawing actually shows a standing wave. It was created with Flash Actionscript and B├ęzier curves. Also see Schumann resonances, and A Short History of Standing Waves: Part 1.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Enceladus

On 8/11/08, the Cassini spacecraft flew by Saturn's moon Enceladus, passing within 50 kilometers. Because Enceladus and Cassini were moving relatively fast with respect to each, a remarkable technique was developed to get photographs of the surface. Cassini was first positioned ahead of Enceladus. The spacecraft with camera was then spun as fast as possible in the direction of Enceladus' predicted path. As Enceladus overtook Cassini, the spinning craft matched Enceladus' motion across the sky, snapping photos as it flew by. The new "close-ups" pinpoint where icy jets erupt from the moon.

The surface of Enceladus is marked with craters, fissures, and corrugated terrain. Images like the one below, from a prior flyby, inspired me to attempt my own version of a Enceladus moonscape, following.



Saturday, August 9, 2008

Larry Bell's Studio

I was in Taos a couple of weeks ago so I went by Larry Bell's studio at 233 Ranchitos Road. An assistant was kind enough to give me a quick tour. I was thrilled to see a large number of glass boxes under construction, and the various equipment they use to create his signature pieces. I got a peek at the large vacuum chamber, purchased from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, that Bell uses to coat the glass plates by thin film deposition.

The assistant also showed me prints and explained how Bell is creating what looked like iridescent areas in the prints — colors that reflect light like oil on water. Of course, her explanation went in one ear and out the other. God, I wish I could remember and comprehend how she explained he does it. They were like no other prints I've ever seen.

Though I don't think Bell had training in math or science he seems to effortlessly master whatever skill he needs to accomplish his goal. I have previously focused on artists who had prior training in math or science. Bell is different. I don't think he studied or practiced in a technical field prior to becoming an artist. Yet, he masters and uses science or technology in his work.