Monday, May 11, 2009

A long time ago in a nebula far away.


Did you know that the word 'Nebula' is from the Latin word meaning 'Cloud'...I think I knew that already, but in relation to the Nebula (The Orion Nebula pictured above it) seems almost an understatement. There are various types of Nebulae,but are all characterised by the presence of dust and gas . Now I'm not an astronomer so I'm no position to talk about the types of gas...the formation of stars and planets and the collapse of stars...xray emissions...dark nebulae...black holes etc.... But what fascinates me is the fact that the nearest Nebula to Earth is the Helix Nebula, about 700 light years away . For those of you with brains like mine...let us consider the 'Light Year'. Light travels at 180,000 miles per second...you would have to travel at that speed for an entire year to have travelled a 'Light year'...and you would have to travel for 700 years at that speed to reach the Helix Nebula ( see pic below)..it can be found in the constellation of Aquarius.


Thus when you look up into the sky , the light you see from these Nebula...Stars and other astral bodies is not how they appear right now....often the light has in some cases been traveling for hundreds...thousands and millions of 'light Years' to reach us.We are therefore 'seeing' into the past.
It is our presence in the 'Now' and the light from the past which will form the background to the concept with which my next picture will centre on.I've spent time today taking photographs and preparing sketches, some of which I will share with you as the week goes on. Regular readers of this blog will be aware that I often change the various factors included in my pictures as the work continues. I hope you will feel able to keep checking back and see the picture develop from the first sketches to the finished picture.
For those of you wanting to find out more about the adventures of Peter Bread and Captain Kebab.....watch this space.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

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Niall young said...

Thanks Sarah..I'll check it out!

Devil Mood said...

And from that came the portuguese for cloud, nĂºvem. Which is more or less where I am right now, cloud 9 ;)

Bob-kat said...

I have always been fascinated with stars and planets and other space paraphenalia and Stephen Hawking just increased my sense of curiosity. I find it fascinating that we can see into the past like that (though of course Einstein postulated all this) and the work on locating the Big Bang, to be able to see the start of the Universe is incredible.