Space stuff

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They always say to write about the topic you love.  I think I’m writing about the right stuff.

I love science, computers, graphics and, …. I know a lot of my readers are rather enthusiastic about astronomy.  Some are in the business of bringing digital art to a large audience.  Some just like to make stuff and tell stories, while others just love code and the power of computing.   If it was ever possible, I’d have a foot in all these camps.   Perhaps what I’m doing now is an attempt to do exactly that.

I love a good story, told through compelling imagery, and I grew up with a burning ambition to understand the physical world.   It all started when I saw Stanley Kubruik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1969. I was eight. 

I wanted to become an astronomer, or an astro-physicist.  I closely followed the Apollo program to the moon, the Mariner, Viking and Pathfinder missions to Mars (yes, I’m that old), and those incredible Juno and Cassini missions to Jupiter and Saturn which are still out there discovering as well as sending back amazing real imagery.

As scientists were leading Skylab and the International Space Station (ISS) missions to make a fundamental and profound impact on life here on Earth, each and every exploratory mission launched since the sixties has pulled us into the future, faster and faster.

Now, a little older, very few nights my wife and I lie out under the stars in my backyard at home watching the Southern sky from the outer suburbs of Melbourne.  Viewing from this latitude in Winter on a clear night, our platform affords a gaping yaw into the middle of our galaxy.   Staring straight up at the constellation of Scorpio, we watch the biggest sky show available.

We watch bright spots in the sky like the ISS hurtle past overhead, accompanied of course by the hundreds of other satellites and bits of rocket, lucky enough to be pushed fast enough to hold orbit.  Christina and I like to sit and watch these bits while we drink red wine, beer or tea.  We have a competition going to count the number of satellites or meteors we see in a sitting.  The biggest nightly count we ever had was 23 satellites when three were in the same patch of sky, hurtling past each other in an apparent near-collision.

Happy to report I am a deep fan of Star Wars, and the Star Trek movies, and have revelled in writing feature articles about the VFX in movies like Interstellar, Gravity and Prometheus.  I enjoyed the recent Life, Alien: Covenant and look forward to writing more about what I love and continuing to inspire other artists and nerds and geeks with the same interests.

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