Barron of Blog Wife, Kids, and the Pursuit of Happiness

11Jun/060

Art of Science

Orion NebulaEvery year Princeton University asks researchers to submit images (and, for the first time this year, videos and sounds) that are "produced in the course of research or incorporating tools and concepts from science". This year's gallery of winners represents a special blend of art and science:

The practices of science and art both involve the single-minded pursuit of those moments of discovery when what one perceives suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts. Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own way, a record of such a moment.

Often the captions included with each image are just as beautiful as the artwork they describe. Here is the description for the beautiful Nebula included in this blog entry:

The Orion Nebula is a star birth region of the Milky Way galaxy. From our perspective, this star birth region lies on the next further out spiral arm of our galaxy. The nebula consists mostly of hydrogen gas that is slowly collapsing under the influence of gravity. The collapsing balls of gas eventually become massive enough that their own crushing density becomes sufficiently great to cause the hydrogen to fuse into helium in a massive nuclear fusion reaction that can run for billions of years. In this way, a star is born.

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