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The AstroArt of David A. Hardy
The Earth with a section cut away to show the molten core, mantle, the thin crust on which we all live, and our essential shell of atmosphere.
A 'symbolic' painting, one metre across, 'Neighbours' shows the Earth, Mars and Moon to scale, each with its appearance from space on the right and a 'typical' landscape scene on the left. Beyond that is our galaxy, the Milky Way, and its nearest neighbouring galaxy, M31 in Andromeda. (From the private collection of Ms Diana Piloyan, Mexico City.)
Moon to Mars
Another symbolic painting, in acrylics on canvas,122cm x 76cm, this embodies the progress of Man's exploration of our nearby Solar System, first to the Moon and then to Mars. Our Milky Way galaxy forms the upper background.
The first in a series of 'portholes', this painting in acrylics is one metre across. It shows the Earth and its Moon as if through a spaceship window, although the size of the Moon is deliberately exaggerated. It formed the cover of Hardyware (Paper Tiger, 2001), available on this site. (From the private collection of Nigel Henbest & Heather Couper.)
Another of Hardy's 'porthole' paintings, this time showing the Earth from space. The Sun is out of the picture at top left, illuminating Earth as a crescent, and the lights of its cities are clearly visible on its night side. (Acrylics)
Asteroid near Earth
Some asteroids stray from their belts between Mars and Jupiter, and cross the orbit of Earth, approaching the Sun. These are known as Apollo asteroids; here one has a fine view of Earth from only 100,000 km away. But will it hit us?
Soviet Space Walk.jpg
The first human to see the Earth from space, protected only by a spacesuit, was Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. In March 1965 cosmonaut he made the first-ever first 'spacewalk' in his Voskhod spacecraft. Hardy met Leonov at the IAAA workshop in Iceland in 1988, and again in Canyonlands, Utah, iin 1989. There have been many such 'walks' since, both US and Russian, and this one is from a Soyuz spacecraft.
Long ago ~ some four billion years ago in fact – the Earth and all of the other planets and moons in our Solar System were battered by a constant stream of bodies of all sizes, as shown here. The results can be seen in the craters seen on our Moon and most solid bodies; most of those on Earth have been eradicated by erosion, tectonic action, or are under the oceans. (From Hardy's Atlas of the Solar System, 1981)
Long ago – some four billion years ago in fact – the Earth and all of the other planets and moons in our Solar System were battered by a constant stream of bodies of all sizes, as shown here. The results can be seen in the craters seen on our Moon and most solid bodies; most of those on Earth have been eradicated by erosion, tectonic action, or are under the oceans. However, the Asteroid Belts and meteoroids are still left over today. (Landscape version of the portrait image above.)
Dawn of Life
3,500 million years ago, Earth's atmosphere was very different from today's. Scalding gases and water vapour belch from volcanic vents; but in shallow pools the first oxygen-producing life begins to appear, under the influence of discharges of lightning. (From Air & Weather by David A. Hardy)
An unusual effect of volcanic lava cooling under water may be seen in the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Vertical stacks of polygonal lava are formed, looking almost man-made. (From The Fires Within by David A. Hardy & Dr John Murray. Private collection of N. Robson.) For more views of our highly active planet, see Volcanoes.
Mt Erebus Aurora
The Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) over the giant volcano of Mt. Erebus in the Antarctic. They are caused by charged particles from the Sun, trapped in Earth's magnetic field over the poles.
On the face of it, not space art, SF or fantasy. But Sarehole Mill, Hall Green Birmingham, five minutes' walk for Hardy, was one of the inspirations for J.R.R.Tolkien when he wrote his classic Lord of the Rings. This was painted in July 2013, and is the first 'pure' water colour (meaning that the paint is transparent, not body colour, and all white is the paper) that David had painted for some 50 years. Please note that this print is best ordered in A4 size, as it is painted in that size.
Our own planet, Terra, needs no introduction. So much of its surface is covered by water that a better name would be Ocean. . . But there is more variety in the landscapes of Earth than any other planet, from snowfields to jungle to desert, it also experiences great extremes of temperature and climate, and is the only world on which we know there's life (not necessarily intelligent).
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