Gothic Stars
The Splinter Galaxy
NGC 5907 in Draco

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Astrophotographers stand at a crossroads between knowledge and creativity. One takes nature apart while the other reconstructs it. One powers our technology and the other powers our imagination. Both spring from curiosity and the need to understand the Universe of which we are part. Science informs art and art helps make sense of it. But art can inform science through ingenuity and a pair of hands.

For example, across Northern Europe, during the twelfth century, traceried landmarks of stone and stained glass arose in the midst of rude villages. They were assembled with common sense notions that exploited the forces of gravity to create vaults that soared 125 feet internally. Centuries would pass before formulas explained what the master masons achieved through experience, insight and their belief. So, what the builders' minds conceived, their hands found means to construct by turning stone piles into gothic arches and flying buttresses. Those Cathedrals are monuments to faith, but they also commemorate the artists and craftsmen who created them. The builders proved they weren't just a part of our Universe- they molded and shaped it with their brains and their hands!

We cannot return to the days when these Cathedrals were built anymore than we can travel out to the places that fill our images. But the mind, which today, is interested in architecture, is the same mind that built those towering edifices and it's very plausible that the deep space explorers of tomorrow will be driven by the same awe that moves modern astrophotographers to produce beautiful images.

Within each of us, even the most disengaged researcher, is the seed germ of wonderment- past, present and future.

June 4- June 16, 2006

RCOS 20- inch, SBIG STL-11000

465 minutes Luminance, 120 minutes Red, 72 minutes Green and 144 minutes Blue (All 1X1)