Here's another in my new series of nebula and space pictures for my upcoming show. This one, "Space Aurora," features one of my favorite colors, the ecstatic, hallucinatory light blue-green I call "Aurora Green." Auroras happen because of energetic particles from the sun striking gases in the Earth's upper atmosphere and causing them to glow. There are no auroras in space, but there are emission nebulas, which are sort of the same, made of gases that glow when energized by light from a nearby star. This is an image of an emission nebula.
I once asked whether I should "invent" the nebulas and galaxies I painted, making up visual details and patterns as I went along, or should I stay true to "real" views from telescopes like the Hubble or advanced terrestrial scopes in Hawaii and Chile. When I asked an astronomer that question, she said, "Why not? It's a big universe out there and there are a lot of nebulae." The question of whether this is an "accurate" picture becomes even more unusual if you believe the current speculations on a plurality of universes. If there is more than one universe, in fact uncounted bbbbillions of universes, then in one of them there is a nebula that looks just like this. And maybe even a person just like me, painting an image of that nebula and posting it to the Otherworld Wide Web, which is just too disturbing to consider.
"Space Aurora," acrylic on illustration board, 10" x 8", November 2009.