Earth painting

And then I paint planets too!

Acrylic on canvas, I’m interested in astronomy and this view of the Earth was taken from a photo. It shows parts of Africa, Greenland, Europe and the Americas. I think you can see the wind directions indicated by the clouds.

I’ve also painted views of the Moon, Jupiter and Mars, together with nebulae and galaxies. It may be something I do again.

Upside down Moon

Stand on the North of the Earth and look at the full moon. It seems to be one way up. Stand in the Southern Hemisphere and it will be the other way up. Basically one view is 🙃 upside down compared with the other. In fact if you are near the equator the view will be at right angles to the normal view. I think some people see the moon as a boat crossing the sky when it is waining. ie a young or old moon. When you only live in one Hemisphere you dont realise that other people can have a different perspective. Trying to put yourself in there position can change the way you look at life. I’d love to go south of the equator and see the Southern Cross and the greater and lesser Magellanic clouds (small galaxies near our milky way galaxy) which are not visible in the North.

Little Earth painting

A couple of years ago I painted this picture of Earth. I was trying to get the shading right so the clouds sit above the surface was difficult. This is North America, Canada and part of Mexico and the Caribbean.

I hope the cloud shapes work and you can see the weather patterns. I wonder if anyone would be interested in paintings of worlds. It’s something I’m interested in. I’ve painted pictures of Jupiter and other astronomical images. I don’t use an airbrush for painting so it’s quite hard to get the granularity and softness of space and planets.

A mobile…

How our vision changes. This was a mobile of the solar system I bought several years ago. Before the further exploration of the planets and based on images from the Voyager probes that happened in the 70’s and 80’s. I added the Space Shuttle model later. Now the James Webb telescope has been launched to take photos in the infra-red of the earliest ages of the universe. It will replace the Hubble Space telescope which took amazing photos of our solar system as well as galaxies and nebulae. It’s greatest image was the hubble deep feild that was a photo of a small, empty looking piece of sky, which turned out to be full of images of some of the earliest ever galaxies. I love astronomy. I might not know facts and figures, but I love space.

Nebula

I’m looking at some photos of my old paintings, I realise I’ve got a lot of inspirations, including astronomy. This was a painting I did of a Nebula. I tried to be as accurate as I could. Clearly it’s impossible to be exact, and positioning of the stars is approximately done. I don’t remember which Nebula photo I looked at. It was probably in the Sky at Night magazine which I sometimes use for inspiration. I’m no expert, I think I’m more interested in the visual representation rather than the celestial mechanics and chemistry of the different gases.

Perseid meteor

It was about 11.40pm tonight in the UK. I was looking through my kitchen window looking west. I was ringing my sister to tell her the Perseid Meteor shower was due tonight, when I saw what I can only describe as a fireball flash by heading north west. Two seconds later, my sister who lives eighty miles away saw it too! It flew over her right shoulder and dissappeared. So it must have been travelling about 40 miles a second. Since then I’ve seen about four meteors (shooting stars). It’s clouded over now. But there should be about 150 an hour after local midnight! X

Sunset

Only 93 million miles away. The sun sets… But it really set 8 minutes earlier! It’s just that light takes that long to get from the sun to us.

OK, now look up at the stars. Some of them are actual stars and others are nebulae and galaxies.

Light takes time to travel. They talk about light years, some stars are only a few light years away. Some are thousands, or millions, or billions of light years away.

Now think about radio waves. They travel at the speed of light too… So TV and radio signals from Earth started travelling from when we first broadcast radio back in the 1920’s or 30’s? Thats a sphere around the Earth with a radius of about 90 or 100 years. So a planet 90 light years away might just about be hearing our signals. Imagine what they would do. They can’t travel here at the speed of light, but they might reply, but that will take 90 years to reply. Closer stars could have planets that reply sooner. But it’s still going to be a boring conversation!

Galaxy

Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt was Space. It is a favourite subject. I love the Sky at Night Programme on the BBC. I’ve tried to paint the Whirlpool galaxy, using Arteza metallic watercolours and some black and white acrylic. A bit splodgy but the detail on the photo was overwhelming.

Sun and Moon

#30daysketchbookchallenge, Day 23 drawing. Sun and Moon in an eclipse. I couldn’t get the black dark enough and the colours bright enough so I used Instagram filters on it….

I’ve seen a couple of eclipses in the UK. They were only partial eclipses but by looking in a bowl of water, and also the dark reflective paint on my car I managed to see something. Also the phenomenon of curved moon shapes of light caused by light from the partially eclipsed sun shining through vegitation.

NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY EVEN IN AN ECLIPSE. IF YOU ARE USING FILTER GLASSES MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT FAKE. IF YOU LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN YOU CAN BE BLINDED!

Geminid Meteor Shower

Tried to draw a meteor shower…

I tried to view the shower a few years ago. We drove miles, but we’re stuck under a cloud base that was miles across. I gave up after forty miles. Tonight it’s the same, cloud everywhere. But if you get the chance try and see it for yourself!

The Geminid meteor shower is tonight. (morning of 14th December 2020). I looked up the information on Wikipedia I’m afraid as I don’t know enough about them:

The Geminids are a prolific meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon,[4] which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid[5] with a “rock comet” orbit.[6] This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet. The meteors from this shower are slow moving, can be seen in December and usually peak around December 6–14, with the date of highest intensity being the morning of December 14. The shower is thought to be intensifying every year and recent showers have seen 120–160 meteors per hour under optimal conditions, generally around 02:00 to 03:00 local time. Geminids were first observed in 1862,[1] much more recently than other showers such as the Perseids (36 AD) and Leonids (902 AD).