ARTIST: Jane Goldman
TITLE: Seeing Infra Red 2
MEDIUM: Watercolor monotype & gouache,16? x 20?, unframed
This original artwork was created for Art on Science: 26 études an internattional portfolio featuring pictures by artists and words by scientists. This written commentary is by Howard Smith, Astrophysics Department at the Center for Astrophysics / Harvard & Smithsonian:
I am an astronomer who looks at the universe in the infrared-- wavelengths that the eye cannot see ? the invisible universe. Many of the brightest, biggest, youngest, oldest, strangest, or most energetic objects in the cosmos are invisible to the eye. Although I often travel to mountaintops where telescopes with special infrared-sensitive cameras image the deep sky, just as often, I download data from infrared telescopes on satellites orbiting in space. The data, when displayed on a color screen, reveal the composition, history, and motions of the gas and dust, and help to tell the story of how stars are born and how our galaxy evolved.
The infrared also reveals the invisible universe to be much more than the stars. The vast spaces between stars are filled with gas and dust that glow in the infrared, disclosing giant clouds from which new stars form, filaments and wisps of gas ejected by stellar winds, and the Milky Way?s own natal material. The infrared emission comes from material that is much cooler than stars, often less than -100o C, but it is bright in the infrared. Jane?s piece beautifully captures the sense of this rich, invisible world.
As a scientist, I work to see things as they reveal themselves in the data, and then put together a story ? a ?picture? ? that offers explanations: what it is, with context and personality. Although other astronomers might use the same data to figure out the same storyline, the stories we tell will be as different as our individual creative energies which flesh out the details. Perhaps in the artistic process something similar is going on?
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All artworks are 16? x 20?, unframed and will be shipped with a printed copy of the scientist?s text.
For further information about the portfolio, please visit our Art on Science: 26 études website: http://AS26project.com
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