03Dec2017

What The Heavens Tell us About Ourselves

Binos

The study of cosmology and exoplanets continue an exploration of humans’ own place in the universe that has lasted for at least 17,000 years.Its an understanding the heavens and what they tell us about ourselves.

For the vast majority of history, humans had no view of space other than what they could see with the naked eye and even the first telescopes probed only the neighbouring heavenly objects. The solar system,  the Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids and comets therefore made up the bulk of what we knew.

With their fundamentally real but dramatically exaggerated colourisation, many images from the Hubble Space Telescope, such as the renowned Pillars of Creation are as visually striking and aesthetically beautiful as works of art. Exploring the Astronomical World strongly contradict the idea that there is a division between “scientific” and “artistic” depictions of space.

Just as tomb paintings by ancient Egyptian artists included aesthetic details in a depiction of the night sky intended to illustrate the structure of their religious beliefs and medieval depictions of recorded portentous comets glow in dramatic tones of gold and red, so early and modern astronomical photographs are often as visually arresting as they are scientifically revealing.

At heart, some of the ideas related to astronomy — the size, age, and sheer multiplicity of space — still lie at the limit or beyond the grasp of human understanding, just as did the apparent motion of the Sun and the shape of the stars for our ancestors millennia ago.

The fact that we understand more now than in the past is not simply the result of technological advances, although clearly developments in telescopes, spacecraft and astrophotography have been key. There has also been a change in humans’ emotional response to the universe. As we have learned more about it physically, we have also come to interpret it in different ways.

For that reason, space has long fascinated scientists, astronomers and visual artists and it remains a recurring subject in our society and culture. Many of the images we see prove that as astronomical research continues, the close relationship between the scientific and the artistic will remain as close as it has been for the last 17,000 years. Source: Morning Star

 

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