After seven months I have finally finished this part of the SDO project. These 4 paintings were inspired by this amazing set of images from NASA’s SDO spacecraft. I decided there’s no point in trying to duplicate what’s there, only to use it as inspiration. This isn’t any real surprise as my landscapes don’t look like real landscapes either.

It has been quite a daunting task to try and come close to the stunning beauty of these 4 images taken at the same time using different filters on SDO. The names of each panel of my tetrapytch are derived from the filter used by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on the SDO spacecraft. The number plus Å (angstrom) refers to the wavelength of light that is captured by the camera array and shows the various elements present in the sun’s atmosphere.

  • 171 Å shows Ionized Iron VIII
  • 131 Å shows Ionized Iron VII
  • 304 Å shows Ionized Helium
  • 335 Å shows Ionized Iron XIV

These also correlate to various temperatures, from 90,000 F for 304 Å all the way up to 18 million F for 131 Å

There’s a good explanation of what the various filters tell us about the sun here.

But in the end, you don’t have to care about the inspiration, I just hope you like them as much as I do. (although I hope it inspires you to find out a bit more about our home star!)

This has been the biggest painting project of my life and I have learned a lot, in technique, patience, persistence, knowing when done wasn’t done and, now finally, when it is.

Going home from work tonight to stretch a new canvas and start something new. It’s exciting!

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