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Creation of the Moon
The most widely accepted theory for the formation of the Moon was proposed in 1975 by Hardy's fellow space artist Dr William K. (Bill) Hartmann, who is also a planetary scientist. Some four and a half billion years ago, a Mars-sized body known as Theia struck Earth obliquely, blasting off its outer layers, which coalesced in orbit into the Moon.
Gibbous Moon Porthole
One of Hardy's 'porthole' series of paintings, this time of a gibbous Moon seen from space, with its night side faintly illuminated by Earthlight. (From the private collection of S. Green.) Also available as a Clock.
Crescent Moon Porthole
Another of the 'porthole' series of paintings: a slim crescent Moon with its night side quite brightly illuminated by Earthlight. (Acrylics; private commission) Like other circular paintings, this can also be available as a Clock, to order.
3000 Miles from the Moon
In the 1950s, artists like Chesley Bonestell protrayed moonships as gleaming, streamlined vehicles with large fins. Much as Hardy loved these, he and Moore preferred the designs of Ralph (R.A.) Smith, who was an engineer as well as an artist. His lander had several features later used by Apollo, such as retractable landing legs. The Moon here is painted very accurately, every crater being in its place. (Gouache, 1955) See The 1950s Gallery.
Another painting of a Moon landing, painted in 1954 for a book with Patrick Moore: The Challenge of the Stars. It never saw publication, but a book with title appeared in 1972 – ironically, just as men left the Moon for the last time. . . Hardy was in the RAF. See The 1950s Gallery.
On 24th March 1965 the NASA probe Ranger 9 sent back the first live TV pictures on the Moon to millions of excited viewers before crashing into the crater Alphonsus. (Gouache)
Ptolemaeus & Alphonsus
Ptolemaeus & Alphonsus are two of the Moon's largest craters; in fact they are also known as walled plains. They are found in the south-eastern quadrant of the Moon, together with Arzachel. This is a painting in acrylics, based on some of the best observatory photographs.
Moonbase by Earthlight 1
A domed Moonbase. Earth is a crescent and illuminating most of the scene, but the Sun is rising on the mountains. (Gouache, 1976)
Moon Rock '09.
An astronaut climbs to the top of a giant boulder in the low lunar gravity, silhouetted against a full Earth. In a photo, this would be a 'zoom' shot. (Acrylics/impasto; private commission)
Painted in 1972 for Challenge of the Stars with Patrick Moore (gouache). The base consists of domes, with 'hydroponic gardens' and an observatory. The scene is illuminated by earthlight.
A Fall of Moondust
This is pre-production art for a movie version of Arthur C Clarke's famous novel A Fall of Moondust. Sadly this has not yet made it to the screen, though it still may. . . (Full story in Hardyware)
This lunar base was painted for The Newsround Book of Space, which in 1992 was voted 'Book of the Year' by children on BBC television. This base was to be constructed of cylindrical modules which were also to be used to build the 'Freedom' space station in Earth-orbit; this became the International Space Station (ISS), but a lunar base is still in the future. . .
This more advanced base (from the same book) has a large area of solar panels to provide electrical power, and a mass-driver to project lunar material into space, to be used in building orbital colonies (such as proposed by the late Gerard K. O'Neill).
An acrylic painting completed in November 2015, It shows the ‘lived in’ interior of a lunar base; but the painting on the wall contrasts starkly with the bleak, monochrome moonscape outside. . . It’s the human element that interests Hardy here. FOR SALE: 55cm x 80cm, framed, £950
Exploring the Moon
Astronauts from a lunar base appear to have discovered signs of past volcanism, in the form of an extinct vent near the lunar pole, and orange soil. Digital; from Futures.
The SMART-1 lunar probe, launched by Ariane 5 in 2003 for a 3-year mission in Moon-orbit. One of the most promising methods of propulsion, this used solar panels to produce electrical power for an ion motor, which gives a low thrust over long periods, building up high speeds at low acceleration. It could be used for later manned missions, eg. to Mars. From Futures.
A lunar scene illuminated by earthlight, with the Sun rising on the distant mountains. The foreground rocks are painted impasto with a palette knife, to give a 3D effect. A video showing how this was created is available – see Tutorials. Acrylics; private commission.
Eclipse from the Moon
From the original edition (1972) of Challenge of the Stars with Patrick Moore, this shows Earth eclipsing the Sun, as seen from above the Moon. Earth appears 4 times larger than the Sun, and our atmosphere appears as a reddish ring surrounding the dark planet. (Gouache)
Eclipse from Moon
An astronaut looks out over a lunar plain as the Sun passes behind Earth, forming an eclipse. Earth's atmosphere forms a 'ring of fire' – the sunset effect, as the air refracts and reddens the light of the Sun. (Digital; for The Sky at Night, BBC TV)
Moon Phase Clock
A digital clock in which the numbers are replaced by the phases of the Moon. Similar clocks are available with a solar eclipse, any of the 'porthole' images (eg. the Moon) seen on this site, or to commission. (As owned by Sir Patrick Moore.)
Luna is a constant companion in our skies, and has always been a source of fascination, giving rise to myths, legends and stories. It is the only other world on which humans have walked (12 of them). But no one has been back there since 1972. Without it and its gravitational attraction our world would be very diffferent, and life might not exist.
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