Sunday, May 29, 2016

Unit 9: Space + Art

(Inside the Orion Nebula by Reinhold Wittich.)
Wow, what a way to end the course! As Professor Vesna mentioned, this week's topic of Space + Art combines all of our previous science and art topics together to create one fascinating lesson that flawlessly sums up our entire course. This week we became aware of all aspects of this space and art topic; from the history of the solar system and Capernacus, to the history behind the space race and the atomic bomb, to space fantasy popular culture, and finally to various space and art projects. 

(Race to Space poster.)
The curiosity behind our Earth and the incredible universe it exists within has been around for many many years. As Carl Sagan explains, Earth is a "pale blue dot," a lonesome dot in the lonely surrounding dark of a vast universe. The curiosity and intrigue encompassing this relatively unknown space is the influence behind the creation of numerous works in popular culture, such as the movies E.T., Star Wars, and Alien. The space age, in a sense, paved the way for the public's captivation with space, and began the intertwining of scientific exploration and the film industry. Because so much of space is a mystery, artists and filmmakers alike are able to use their creativity to essentially fill in the gaps to produce amazing films, TV shows, and art. 
(John Alvin's original art for the poster for the film E.T.)
Aside from popular culture and mass media, scientists are using art to gain a further understanding of the science of space. The UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility (BaPSF) studies the fundamental properties of plasma that advances the understanding of applications like fusion energy and space science. Research projects conducted at the BaPSF embody the combination of space, art, and nanotechnology. Operational procedures using facility tools, such as Laser Induced Fluorescence, encourage the exchange of information across divergent areas of research where the basic properties of plasmas are important. 
(Engineering project at the UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility.)
This week's topic was by far the most fascinating, and I wish I could write more than the 400 word limit! The topic of space and art fused together produces limitless creative opportunities that helps both scientists and artists further understand space and the surrounding universe. The space age has promoted an abundance of imagination that has lead to some truly amazing works that have been very influential in space research. I am very excited to see what the future of space research has in store for us!

"A Pale Blue Dot." Big Sky Astro Club. Big Sky Astronomy Club, n.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Basic Plasma Science Facility at UCLA. University of California, Los Angeles, 2014. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Boucher, Marc. "Space and Art." NASA Watch. NASA Watch, 30 May 2013. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Vesna, Victoria. "8 space pt1." YouTube. UC online program, 29 Jul. 2013. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Vesna, Victoria. "Space intro." YouTube. UC online program, 26 Mar. 2012. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Vesna, Victoria. "Space pt6." YouTube. UC online program, 30 May 2012. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Alvin, John. Art for the poster for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Digital image. 1982. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Caton, Steven. UCLA Basic Plasma Science Facility engineering project. Digital image. N.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <> 

Ultra Swank Flickr Group. Race to space. Digital image. N.d. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

Wittich, Reinhold. Inside the Orion Nebula. Digital image. 20 Mar. 2013. Web. 29 May 2016. <>

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