Tuesday, June 30, 2009
IYA and Astronomical Art
As you will likely have noticed, the SkyNews website has been redesigned. We hope that you like the look of the new pages. The redesign is also the reason for the long delay since my last blog. But things will soon settle down, and I will post more regularly.
This IYA year has seen an explosion of artistic activity, with new movies, TV shows, plays, planetarium shows, music and art. So today, I’m going to highlight some of these creative endeavours and mention something artistic in future blogs.
Well, I know the perfect person to help us explore the boundaries between art and science: Dr. Jayanne English. Jayanne is an astronomer at the University of Manitoba and was previously on the Hubble Heritage team that produces absolutely gorgeous pictures from Hubble Space Telescope images. This year, she is working hard to share her expertise in making astronomy images. On her “Cosmos versus Canvas” site, she describes how to “render your astronomy images in the most effective manner possible.” If nothing else, you must see her imaging workshop, a five-part series of YouTube videos. Thanks to Jayanne, we all have the opportunity to make beautiful astronomical pictures. Jayanne is also participating in Beam Me Up, a global project using essays and art to explore the concept of space; Jayanne’s visualization can be seen HERE. The picture above is an image of a cold hydrogen gas shell in the plane of the Milky Way, made by Jayanne, Jeroen Stil and Russ Taylor.
On the subject of astronomical images, don’t forget that the deadline for the CFHT Imaging Contest is July 3. This contest gives Canadian amateur-astronomy clubs the opportunity to take optical or infrared images with the CFHT’s wide-field camera.
If, instead, you prefer to make things, Canon has a wonderful website with instructions on how you can make paper models of the Moon, the Sun, the Earth and more. There are full patterns for each model. The picture on the left shows the Sun model. I’m sure kids (and even adults!) would really get into this.
I’ll end today by mentioning a great new website produced by the History Channel, called The Universe. Here, you can explore the universe through interactive maps, on-line games, videos and images. You can also find out about The Universe TV series, currently playing on the History Channel.
Next time, I’ll tell you about the summer-solstice event at Keppel Henge, on the Bruce Peninsula, and other events taking place across the country. Please let us know what you think about our new webpages, and keep sending us your IYA pictures and reports. Read about recent items including May activities in Calgary and the Keppel Henge solstice event HERE.
All the best,
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