I follow a website called http://spaceweather.com and I just read about a massive solar flare 159 years ago called the Carrington event. The flare caused a huge Coronal Mass Ejection of such force that it caused telegraph stations to be put out of action including telegraph paper catching fire. This all happened in the Victorian era, when electrical gadgets were very primitive.
Reading further apparently these events happen around every 100 years so we are overdue another one, the effect of which could be very serious for our modern electronic world.
There is lots of other information there if you are a nerd like me, including near earth objects that come close to earth (measured in multiples and fractions of the distance between us and the moon), information about comets and meteor showers.
I wanted to paint Jupiter a couple of years ago, but my technique with acrylics does not quite work. I think I don’t blend colours as well as I could, still I had a go…..to me thus almost looks knitted…
What would Jupiter think if he was an ancient God?
You knitted me? That can’t be right,
I am great Jupiter, not a wooly jumper?
In all my days of pomp and might,
I was never treated rougher.
My power is great, my influence strong,
I never wore a cardie…
My orbit is extremely long,
And I am very hardy.
My storms last centuries you know,
They do not soon unravel,
So take your woollen paint and go,
As I through space do travel!
I love the challenge of trying to paint and draw astronomical objects. I have painted the Earth a few times, but also the Moon, the nebula shown here, Jupiter, and done digital drawings of the Earth and Moon, and the Veil Nebula plus other objects. I have also drawn Jupiter and Saturn.
I’m not an expert. They were all done without measuring the positions of features or stars, so for a real astronomer they probably look totally inaccurate. Still the universe is a wonderful place and the objects in it are amazing.
So if you can recommend an object I could have a go at painting I would be interested. I can’t promise it will be perfect. But I would have a go.
Tonight I was promised celestial beauty. An eclipse of the Moon, as Earths shadow would pass across it leaving only red light, which has a longer wavelength, to get past and paint the Moon red. Not only that butthis s was due to be the longest eclipse of this century. And to add to the excitement Mars is at its closest approach to the Earth for fifteen years. It is actually up there in the sky shining brighter than Sirius, the dog star…..
Celestial fireworks indeed…I have seen lunar eclipses before, usually as the moon is rising in the east and just around the time the Sun is setting in the west. They make the moon look round! Its strange but because of the lunar soil and dust it looks quite flat normally, but when you see it eclipsed, it looks like a Christmas bauble in the sky…
Mars is also red, and it looks even redder at the moment because it is having a world wide dust storm that obliterated any changes in tone, leaving a blank world facing us, but making it more reflective for sunlight hitting it.
So, waiting for both objects to rise, and after several weeks of almost cloudless sky’s…A big grey cloud floated across the view, no gaps, no glimpses. No, just like previous sky watchers my plan to view the eclipse came to nothing.
Never mind, Mars won’t fade too quickly and the Moon will be eclipsed again. Meanwhile I think I will go try and find the telescope. It must be in the shed…
Just spent two hours going from a blank canvas to this. I’m trying to paint Planetary nebula NGC 2044. May have got the number wrong?
Anyway I saw the canvas last week and decided to have a go at something. I was going to paint the moon but decided on something a bit more colourful….hmm there I go again!
Anyway, astronomers out there will see its not accurate, but its bloody difficult to hold a book in one hand and the canvas in the other…not doing my back any good. Its now 2am. I have an appointment at 9.30am, I dont know why I’m still up? Well yes I do, my artists block is well and truly broken. I have finished 8 tiny paintings today and started this!
I sort of explode sometimes with art.. can’t help it. I am so full of ideas sometimes…..but…bed…ok..bed..hmmm…coffee? No..bed…
This is the finished painting. Sorry about the lighting!