The Universe as Art over at NASA

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Death Valley and Environs

I have mentioned my love of aerial photography and I was realizing when I was on NASA’s site that I love any photography that allows for that same feeling of how-small I really am.  The above shot of Death Valley National Park certainly gives me that feeling and it happens to be aesthetically spectacular  NASA’s website is a treasure trove of shots that get me at both levels.  Many are pictures of stars, which have held a longtime fascination for me.

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Hot Cloud
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Infrared Bow Shock

I’ve often stared up into a sky full of stars and immediately been made aware of how small I am in the grand scheme of things.  There is something about looking out into the unknowable depths of outer space, about considering just how far away those tiny shining things actually are and that I – as small as I am on my small planet – get to see them at this given moment in the universe’s history…it’s pretty much my mind’s closest way of understanding eternity.  I’ll call it the “Do You Realize?”-iness of it all.

If I am going to be honest, I get a little lost-in-the-beautiful-connectedness-of-it-all a lot.  But I believe in it, which is why I believe so strongly in art.  We are already connected so why not share who we are in a given moment passionately with the world and see who connects to it.  It’s beautiful when we do connect with something that we see and when what we see is beautiful to us we feel a connection with the creator of that thing.  Would that we could all become friends with our artistic heroes, but I think that it’s a thing we all feel deep down inside.  Which brings me back to the stars…
NASA’s website – though a little difficult to navigate – is a treasure trove of science’s little gift to artists: satellite photos of the universe beyond Earth.  Yes, there are unbelievable things going on outside of our planet’s atmosphere like supernovas last puffs of energy and renegade stars. So rockets are flying through the solar system to take pictures for science and it just so happens they look like fine art every time…ok with me. Here are a few of my favorites that I came across on NASA’s site:

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Venus

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Earth’s Sun
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Witch Head
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The Sun’s Wavelengths
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Orion Cluster

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