Space Unites The World: Celebrate World Space Week
For people like me obsessed with the stars, it’s an important week. October 4th to 10th is World Space Week. What’s it all about?
“The largest space event on Earth, UN-declared World Space Week is celebrated October 4-10 annually. It is an international celebration of the contribution of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition.”
This year I thought I’d celebrate everything to do with the cosmos by sharing just why I love space, and why I think it’s important to continue to explore and wonder at what’s beyond our own atmosphere.
1. We walked on the moon. Regardless of the people that don’t believe it, for whatever stupid conspiracy-government-riddled reason, we did. And it was awesome. We were all taught the phrase “one small step for man” as little kids, and it’s stuck with most of us.
The Earth, as seen from the Moon (Watercolours)
2. It’s just so pretty. Look at those images of Jupiter, of Mars, or of poor demoted little Pluto. They are breathtaking. That’s one heck of a camera.
3. It makes science fun. Brian Cox playing around with Chinese lanterns or salt and pepper grinders on a table, making complex fun since 1975.
4. It’s so varied. There are planets made of gas, and rock, there are galaxies shaped like eggs, sombreros, galaxies giving birth to all kinds of animals and mythical beings.
5. It helps you lose track of time. Literally. When you start to hear just how old the universe will be before it’s eventual demise, all sense of logic disappears and a sandy beach isn’t long enough for all those zeros. Yes, there’s lots of them.
6. All the colours of the Universe are far better than all the colours of the rainbow. Seriously.
7. Yet it slows time down too. Look up at the stars, or at the soft rising moon. If you’re lucky enough to grab a telescope and see the planets or baby stars, time seems to stand still. You can stand and watch forever. You can also see into the deep past; a million faces changed over millions of light years.
8. The Northern Lights. The sun wants to kill us, the Earth’s magnetic field protects us by whipping the solar winds off into deep space. And it looks beautiful.
9. “Science, bitches”. To quote Richard Dawkins, scientific understanding has helped us to uncover the inner workings of the solar system in truly unimaginable ways. We’ve longer robots on distant comets, mapped the surface of the sun and decoded the chemical languages of the stars.
10. We could possibly be the only beings that have ever, and will ever, look up at the stars in wonder. It’s possible also, that we aren’t.
I was drawn to space as a child: not at any deep intellectual level but I used to love learning about the solar system and getting to know all of our neighbours. Pluto was a bit more special back then. I’m still captivated reading the works of Stephen Hawking and Black Holes (not that I can understand much of it) and got completely hooked on the cosmos thanks to Hawking, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Brian Cox, my three cosmic muses. Thanks to visuals, documentaries and the media, it’s never been easier for lay people to love space. We don’t need to be buddies with astronauts or have the latest telescope, we don’t need a PhD in physics or astronomy, and we certainly don’t need astrology.
When I paint the cosmos, I don’t paint exactly what I see. It’s impossible to replicate something so solid yet so infinite and lucid at the same time. I paint somewhat of an Impressionistic, interstellar landscape, then discover what part of nature fits it best along the way. Nature combines with the cosmos in a way that landscape painting does not, and I can explore the simplicity of just enjoying colour and motion, whilst still incorporating my love of the natural world.
Happy Space Week! Please do share your favourite space facts or why you love space in the comments!
If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@chloewaterfieldart) to keep up with the latest in my studio. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂