NASA Releases New High-Definition View of Iconic ‘Pillars of Creation’ Photo

New view of the Pillars of Creation — visible
New view of the Pillars of Creation, visible light. NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team.

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New view of the Pillars of Creation, visible light, detail. NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team.

New view of the Pillars of Creation — infrared
New view of the Pillars of Creation, infrared light. NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team.

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2015 v. 1995 ‘Pillars of Creation’ comparison. WFC3: NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team. WFPC2: NASA, ESA/Hubble, STScI, J. Hester and P. Scowen (Arizona State University)

One of the most iconic images ever produced by NASA is the “Pillars of Creation” photograph taken by Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. The photo depicts tall columns (called elephant trunks) of interstellar dust and gas within the Eagle Nebula about 6,500 light years from Earth. For the first time in 20 years, NASA revisited the Pillars of Creation using a new camera installed on Hubble back in 2009 capable of much higher resolutions. The new photo, including an infrared version, was published yesterday. From the NASA press release about the new image:

Now Hubble has revisited the famous pillars, capturing the multi-coloured glow of gas clouds, wispy tendrils of dark cosmic dust, and the rust-coloured elephants’ trunks with the newer Wide Field Camera 3, installed in 2009. The visible-light image builds on one of the most iconic astronomy images ever taken and provides astronomers with an even sharper and wider view.

In addition, NASA says that although the original photograph was titled Pillars of Creation, the newer imagery suggests the columns might also contain a fair amount of destruction:

Although the original image was dubbed the “Pillars of Creation”, this new image hints that they are also pillars of destruction. The dust and gas in these pillars is seared by intense radiation from the young stars forming within them, and eroded by strong winds from massive nearby stars. The ghostly bluish haze around the dense edges of the pillars in the visible-light view is material that is being heated by bright young stars and evaporating away.

You can see the new photo in even higher detail by downloading images at several resolutions on this page. I also spent the morning cropping a bunch of wallpapers you can download here: 1280×800, 1440×900, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, 2560×1440, 3840×2400, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 6+. (via Metafilter)

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Sponsor // A’Design Awards Present their 2014 World Design Rankings in Arts, Architecture and Design

The A’Design Awards have published their annual World Design Rankings for 2014. The U.S. takes the top spot, followed by Turkey, Hong Kong, Italy, and Great Britain.

The World Design Rankings (WDR) aims to provide additional data and insights to economists and journalists regarding the state-of-art in the design industry. The WDR ranks all the countries based on the number of designers that have been granted the A’ Design Award. The rankings aim to provide a snapshot of the design potentials of countries worldwide by highlighting their creative strengths, design weaknesses, and available opportunities.

To discover the complete list of countries included in the World Design Rankings, and to see in-depth design business insights for each country, browse the World Design Rankings at WorldDesignRankings.com.

A Bioluminescent Forest Created with Digital Projection Mapping

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While we’ve seen many examples of projection mapping on the sides of buildings or other relatively flat surfaces in an attempt to add depth or dimension, it seems photographers and digital artists are getting progressively more innovative as the technology continues to evolve. Last week we saw a commendable dance performance making use of projection mapping, and now photographer Tarek Mawad and animator Friedrich van Schoor just spent six weeks embedded in nature to create Bioluminescent Forest. The 4-minute short film imagines what various plants, insects, spiderwebs, and mushrooms might look like if they possessed the ability to emit bioluminescent light, creating a strange wonderland of blinking and twinkling organisms. The filmmakers state that everything you see was created live, without any effects added in post-production. You can watch a behind-the-scenes clip here. (via PetaPixel, The Kid Should See This)

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Heavy Metals: New Underwater Ink and Metal Photographs by Alberto Seveso

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Bristol-based illustrator and photographer Alberto Seveso (previously) just shared a new collection of underwater ink photographs titled Heavy Metals. Seveso achieves the ethereal forms in his photographs by mixing ink with metallic powders which are then suspended in different fluids. You can see more of his fluid-based photography and illustration in his portfolio.

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The Armstrong Light Trap, a Desktop Lamp Inspired by Moon Craters

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Inspired by the pockmarked surface of the moon, Russian designer Constantin Bolimond developed this fun concept for a ceramic desktop lamp covered with corked “craters.” The intensity of the Armstrong Light Trap can be adjusted by opening or closing individual craters to reaveal the LED light inside. You can see more over on his Behance portfolio. (via Design Milk)

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Pixel: A Mesmerizing Dance Performance Incorporating Interactive Digital Projection

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Pixel is an innovative dance performance conceived by French performance artists Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, known collectively as the Adrien M / Claire B Company, in collaboration with hip-hop choreographer Cie Kafig. The hour-long performance incorporates a host of digital projection mapping techniques, 11 dancers, and bills itself as “a work on illusion combining energy and poetry, fiction and technical achievement, hip hop and circus.” Pixel premiered at Maison des Arts de Créteil on November 15th of last year, and above is a 3-minute excerpt of the shows most jaw-dropping moments. (via Jason Sondhi)

Artist Jeremy Miranda Examines Memory with Oil Landscapes that Bleed into Interiors

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Artist Jeremy Miranda is fascinated with how the mind creates memories and the juxtaposition of experiences both real and perceived. His oil paintings overlap interior and exterior environments to create unexpected relationships between disparate subjects, usually natural versus man-made. The interior of an artist’s studio dissolves into a bucolic river landscape, a bookshelf leads into the ocean, or a glowing furnace is concealed below quiet pond. Miranda most recently had an exhibit at Nahcotta Gallery in New Hampshire where several of his original works are currently available. Some of his most popular images are also available as prints. (via My Darkened Eyes)

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