080317: Looking Out (and Looking Back)

Today’s opener was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft last year. It has been exploring Saturn and many of its 62 moons since its arrival at Saturn in 2004. Currently the spacecraft is in the middle of its “Grand Finale,” as NASA refers to its ultimate and final stage – plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere next month on September 15. It has treated us to previously unimaginable sights and still has six more weeks of transmissions.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21046

Above are the first three drawings ever of Saturn and made by the observations of Galileo over 400 years ago. July 30,1610 was the first one (top) with slightly better results for the other two as he continually refined his telescopes.

We’ve come a long way – this pic taken from behind Saturn looks back at Earth (the dot center right). The beauty and importance of these and many other images, to me, cannot be understated.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17171

This trio of craters, also shot from Cassini, reside on Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons.

More on this image – https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20011

NASA’s image libraries are full of these wonderful and fascinating images and are all easily  accessible online.This one above is from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and shows part of Mars’ south pole.

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/pia21639/erosion-of-the-edge-of-the-south-polar-layered-deposits

And last in this series is a picture of our own Grand Canyon taken from the International Space Station by a student controlled EarthKam camera!

More on this image – https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/space-stations-earthkam-sees-the-grand-canyon

As I said, NASA has endless libraries worth perusing. Also, my favorite non-NASA sight you might want to visit is  Planetary Landscapes – daily posts of images from here on Earth and elsewhere!

One last note: Saturday, August 5, will be the fifth anniversary of the explorations begun by the Mars Rover. It continues to chug along the surface of the planet, sending back wonderful and astounding landscape images of Mars – Images – Mars Science Laboratory

_______________

All this thought about outer space got me to break out my collection of pulp Sci-Fi magazines. The stories age great. The cover images make me dream of being aboard a spaceship exploring the wide universe. I think it’s my way of coping with the depressing news that we witness daily – especially the science related cutbacks, the dissolution of important government functions ranging from climate change to research of all kinds, etc.

The two  “Thrilling Wonder Stories” are from 1951 and 1952.

The three remaining magazines, “Amazing Stories,” are from 1947 and 1948.

*****

*****

_______________

So, from the faraway future to the faraway past – I had to toss in a few new images of the very old – 387 million years ago (give or take a few mil!) – Devonian invertebrate fossils from the neighborhood.

*****

*****

*****

Science matters.

Thanks for the visit.

0324: A Spring Break

IMG_0955_01_LR_12

Another walk starts off this week’s post. It was an overcast early Spring afternoon that got me up and away from the computer – a break from all the Florence images that have had me tied up lately. A need for nature not pixels! The lichen was a good start.

IMG_0880_01_LR_12

The garden showed me some things new…

IMG_0991_01_LR_12

…and some things old.

IMG_0919_01_LR_12

Some shapes reminded me of other shapes.

Some images reminded me of other images.

IMG_0971_01_LR_12

And that brought me back to the computer – which led to this mix.

IMG_8084_01_LR_12

Crustacean 1, La Specola

IMG_8092_01_LR_12

Crustacean 2, La Specola

IMG_9370_01_LR_12

Stairwell, Bardini Gardens

IMG_8063_01_LR_12

Tools of Mosaic Artist

IMG_9290_01_LR_12

Jupiter and Saturn, Orrery, Galileo Museum

IMG_7417_01_LR_12

Gastropod, Florence Museum of Natural History

DSC_0111_01_LR_12

Santa Maria della Spina, Pisa

IMG_8269_01_LR_12

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

DSC_0216_01_LR_12

Virgin with Child and Bicycles, Florence

DSC_0134_01_LR_12

Vasari’s Vision of Hell, Duomo, Florence

*****

Thanks for the visit.

So What Do You See?

The above image is that of a brachiopod in course sandstone, a small lip falling into shadow, and various colored stripes (that I assume are the result of chemical interactions over a very long period of time.) That’s what’s there. That’s the result of the last whack of my hammer and chisel. And yet as I view it I keep thinking about Saturn.

I am often pleasantly amused when viewers of my work see “other” things in the images. A few friends delight in playing their own version of “Where’s Waldo” where Waldo is replaced by a menagerie of animals. It’s that creative side of the brain at work. And for those who swear that they are anything but creative take a moment to read what Leonardo da Vinci said about letting the mind wander:

“When you look at a wall spotted with stains, or with a mixture of stones…you may see battles and figures in action, or strange faces and costumes, or an endless variety of objects, which you could reduce to complete and well-drawn forms. These appear on such walls promiscuously, like the sound of bells in whose jangle you may find any name or word you choose to imagine.”

I always hope my images provide the viewer with a jumping off point, whether for exploration, contemplation, or simple visual information. We each bring our own experiences to art. So if you find Waldo, congrats! Same too for “cosmic meaning” or even for just finding some 380 million year old former resident who lived and died at the bottom of an ancient inland sea.

I’ve posted some new work on my website, both fossils and non-fossils. Here are some direct links to those pages and a few samples. Take a look. I hope you enjoy them.

        New Fossil Images                                               New Assorted Images

Thanks for the visit. More always at www.artmurphy.com.