Space

Gallery: Art meets science in the glory of modern space art

Gallery: Art meets science in ...
A visualization depicting what would happen if the Earth were to encounter a black hole
A visualization depicting what would happen if the Earth were to encounter a black hole
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This artist’s impression shows the view just above the surface of one of the middle planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, with the glare of the host star illuminating the rocky surface
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This artist’s impression shows the view just above the surface of one of the middle planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system, with the glare of the host star illuminating the rocky surface
A visualization depicting what would happen if the Earth were to encounter a black hole
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A visualization depicting what would happen if the Earth were to encounter a black hole
The size of a neutron star relative to the city of Munich
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The size of a neutron star relative to the city of Munich
Artist’s impression of the distant galaxy SXDF-NB1006-2
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Artist’s impression of the distant galaxy SXDF-NB1006-2
Artist’s impression of cold intergalactic rain
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Artist’s impression of cold intergalactic rain
An artist's impression of a wormhole burrowing through time and space
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An artist's impression of a wormhole burrowing through time and space
Crowd of ice cores in the Kuiper Belt
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Crowd of ice cores in the Kuiper Belt
Artist’s impression of the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 from the surface of one of its planets
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Artist’s impression of the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 from the surface of one of its planets
Artist’s impression of the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 from close to one of its planets
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Artist’s impression of the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 from close to one of its planets
Artist impression of W2246-0526, a single galaxy glowing in infrared light as intensely as 350 trillion suns
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Artist impression of W2246-0526, a single galaxy glowing in infrared light as intensely as 350 trillion suns
Artist’s impression of Mars four billion years ago
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Artist’s impression of Mars four billion years ago
Artist’s impression of Mars four billion years ago
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Artist’s impression of Mars four billion years ago
This artist’s impression shows the dust and gas around the double star system GG Tauri-A
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This artist’s impression shows the dust and gas around the double star system GG Tauri-A
This artist’s impression shows the view from the exoplanet Gliese 667Cd looking towards the planet’s parent star (Gliese 667C)
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This artist’s impression shows the view from the exoplanet Gliese 667Cd looking towards the planet’s parent star (Gliese 667C)
This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527
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This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527
This artist’s impression shows the surface of the distant dwarf planet Makemake
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This artist’s impression shows the surface of the distant dwarf planet Makemake
This artist's impression shows the distant dwarf planet Eris in the distance with its moon Dysmonia in the foreground
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This artist's impression shows the distant dwarf planet Eris in the distance with its moon Dysmonia in the foreground
Imagining an asteroid clashing with Jupiter's moon Europa
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Imagining an asteroid clashing with Jupiter's moon Europa
In this artistic depiction of the exoplanet Kepler-20e, the planet is represented with active volcanoes on both the night and day sides
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In this artistic depiction of the exoplanet Kepler-20e, the planet is represented with active volcanoes on both the night and day sides
This artist's concept shows a hypothetical "rejuvenated" planet -- a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow
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This artist's concept shows a hypothetical "rejuvenated" planet -- a gas giant that has reclaimed its youthful infrared glow
This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1f, one of the newly discovered planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system
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This illustration shows the possible surface of TRAPPIST-1f, one of the newly discovered planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system
An artist's impression of a supermassive black hole
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An artist's impression of a supermassive black hole
GJ176-525px is a star similar to our Sun but one billion years older
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GJ176-525px is a star similar to our Sun but one billion years older
This illustration shows one possible scenario for the hot, rocky exoplanet called 55 Cancri e, which is nearly two times as wide as Earth
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This illustration shows one possible scenario for the hot, rocky exoplanet called 55 Cancri e, which is nearly two times as wide as Earth
This illustration shows a red dwarf star orbited by a hypothetical exoplanet
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This illustration shows a red dwarf star orbited by a hypothetical exoplanet
The glowing stream of material as a star is engulfed by a supermassive black hole
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The glowing stream of material as a star is engulfed by a supermassive black hole
This artist concept illustrates a white dwarf, surrounded by the bits and pieces of a disintegrating asteroid
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This artist concept illustrates a white dwarf, surrounded by the bits and pieces of a disintegrating asteroid
An illustration imaging our solar system when it was young
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An illustration imaging our solar system when it was young
As a bit of an easter egg we're highlighting this magnificent series of posters made by NASA / JPL, celebrating galactic exploration with a retro-flavor
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As a bit of an easter egg we're highlighting this magnificent series of posters made by NASA / JPL, celebrating galactic exploration with a retro-flavor
Each poster takes a key characteristic of its subject and imagines how it could be advertised as a tourist destination
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Each poster takes a key characteristic of its subject and imagines how it could be advertised as a tourist destination
They were inspired by a series of mid-20th century posters advertising holidays in US national parks
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They were inspired by a series of mid-20th century posters advertising holidays in US national parks
Saturn's moon Enceladus is all about the plumes erupting from its south pole
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Saturn's moon Enceladus is all about the plumes erupting from its south pole
Europa
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Europa
The brilliant auroras of Jupiter inspired this design
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The brilliant auroras of Jupiter inspired this design
This was the first poster the team designed and it inspired all of the following
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This was the first poster the team designed and it inspired all of the following
This poster hypothesizes how different colors would appear when illuminated by a star that radiates an entirely different spectrum of light
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This poster hypothesizes how different colors would appear when illuminated by a star that radiates an entirely different spectrum of light
Quote from the designers, "You can see the silhouette of Olympus Mons in the background, there's a hint of underground water, and the rover's wheel is spelling out JPL on the ground in Morse code, just like the Curiosity rover does (for what the rover drivers call "visual odometry.")"
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Quote from the designers, "You can see the silhouette of Olympus Mons in the background, there's a hint of underground water, and the rover's wheel is spelling out JPL on the ground in Morse code, just like the Curiosity rover does (for what the rover drivers call "visual odometry.")"
A wandering planet with no sun, in eternal night. Perfect for night owls
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A wandering planet with no sun, in eternal night. Perfect for night owls
Thrill-seekers will enjoy this planet with super-gravity
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Thrill-seekers will enjoy this planet with super-gravity
The golden seas of Titan
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The golden seas of Titan
The close system of Trappist makes planet hopping akin to visiting several islands close together
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The close system of Trappist makes planet hopping akin to visiting several islands close together
With the surface of Venus so imposing this poster concentrates on taking a vacation in the clouds
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With the surface of Venus so imposing this poster concentrates on taking a vacation in the clouds
One of Chelsey Bonestell's more well-known pieces from 1952
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One of Chelsey Bonestell's more well-known pieces from 1952

For decades the field of space art has been nurtured by organizations such as NASA who commission conceptual artworks to help illustrate the wonders of the galaxy to the general population. In this gallery we celebrate our favorite pieces of space art from the past few years.

The granddaddy of modern space art has to be Chelsey Bonestell. Throughout the first half of the 20th century Bonestell created stunning works of art grounded in scientific realism, yet still so fantastically awe inspiring.

The primary modern aesthetic inspired by Bonestell is called "Descriptive Realism". The fundamental guiding principle behind this kind of space art is that the majority of detail needs to have a grounding in scientific fact. For example, what color would the sky look like like if I was standing on a certain exoplanet?

This kind of "science meets art" realism has exploded in recent years as astronomical discoveries have increased. As we learn more and more about the universe we inhabit, a whole new generation of space art has arrived, guided by science and inspired by fantasy.

Enjoy this trip through our gallery of the best and most spectacular works of modern space art.

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