we’ve just returned from scouting out locations for our upcoming fieldtrip to Tenerife. expect volcanoes, stars, whales, lava tubes, galaxies, dolphins, planets, sea turtles, BBQs, birdlife, botany and more – details coming real soon


slowly built up using tiny pieces of wallpaper before painting, David Wightman’s painstakingly-created canvases show a strange greyscale world of mountains, rocks and glaciers cut through by striking colour rivers. taking kitsch mountain scenes as their starting point, the fifteen works now on show at Halcyon Gallery transform traditional landscapes into something starker and altogether more foreboding



on now at Brancolini Grimaldi in London, Transmission: New Remote Earth Views sees one of our favourite artists tackling landscape in a new way. working with data from the United States Geological Survey, Dan Holdsworth has created a series of images of a geology neither imagined nor real read more


this weekend’s Oxford Mineral Fossil Show will be preceded by a special meeting co-organized by the Russell Society, the Mineralogical Society and Gem-A (the Gemmological Association of Great Britain). entitled Nature’s Treasures, the day will see talks ranging from “Re-creating 3D models of fossils” to “Minerals at the Nano-Scale: Exploring our Crystalline World” read more


with Dawn’s adventures in the asteroid field entering month five, amazing images and videos continue to arrive from deep space. first it was a close up view of Vesta, then a 3D tour of the asteroid, and now NASA have released these beautiful images of rocks from Vesta – found right here on earth

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All About: Science

28 September 2011

the first book in our new All About: Science series launches at The Landfill Library – a pop-up shop at Wiltons Café with new books by Landfill Editions and music from L-V-L and Burning Bush of TOP NICE. illustrated by our pals at Nous Vous, it’s all about crystals of every shape and size

All About: Science is a new series from Landfill Editions and super/collider, exploring the myriad worlds of science through the eyes of contemporary image makers

worlds in the making

turning away from the star that has inspired much of their previous work, film/art duo Semiconductor’s first major UK solo show at FACT in Liverpool looks at the volcanic processes that have shaped the earth from within. the main work is projected over three screens, juxtaposing the work of the Instituto Geofisico Volcano Observatory in Tungurahua, Ecuador alongside stunning videos of the volcanoes and animations of crystals growing deep below the ground


you might know recent RCA graduate Nelly Ben Hayoun from her immersive, science-leaning installations – which range from Super K inspired tunnels to a chair that recreates the launch of a Soyuz rocket. now, working with explosives designer Austin Houlsdworth and in consultation with volcanologist Dr. Carina Fearnley from UCL, she’s only gone and created a volcano that slowly spews smoke and debris into your living room. ‘The Other Volcano’ is currently on show at East London’s Space In Between gallery and will later and will also be part of the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference later this year


another week, another crater. but unlike the volcanic one in last week’s post, Meteor Crater in Arizona was formed when a 50m nickel-iron meteorite careened into it at up to 20km per second. if you missed Science Fair™ on Monday, there’s another chance to hear about such impacts from Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, as part of the Royal Albert Hall’s Close Encounters series, which also includes screenings of Alien and Barbarella, plus plenty of crater-making fun for the little ones


ever wanted to search for buried treasure? on our Science Fair™ summer fieldtrip you’ll get the chance to do just that among the crumbly white cliffs at Samphire Hoe, near Dover. we’ll be guided by mineralogist Jolyon Ralph of Mindat.org, who will show you how to find crystals and minerals to take home with you, plus other geological goodies. due to the sensitive nature of the site, numbers are very limited so if you’re interested do book soon


this Thursday and Friday, we’ll be sitting in on a conference organised by The Mineralogical Society entitled New Views of the Earth’s Interior, which will cover everything from “the thickness of the post-perovskite boundary” to stuff we might actually understand, like how the moon was formed and what’s inside the Earth and Venus. you can follow our updates on the live page or via Twitter, we’ll hopefully be able to post some new pictures here too


_illustration from a (hopefully) out-of-copyright textbook

worlds apart

three years ago yesterday, the first of two robotic NASA rovers touched down on Mars. initially designed to explore their surroundings for three months, the two rovers are still going strong and have beamed back a wealth of information and amazing images, like this one: sunset on Mars


_end of the road. having travelled nearly ten kilometres across the barren surface, Opportunity is now circling this crater. if mission control decides to send it in, the tiny rover may spend its final days in this area, unable to climb out again. one of NASA’s most successful missions ever, the twin rovers have paved the way for future explorers, both robotic and, just maybe, human

_navigating around such features has to be carefully planned. this 3D map was created to help mission planners work out a safe route up the Columbia Hills ? seven peaks named after the astronauts who died in the space shuttle Columbia disaster

_the rovers face high winds, planet-wide dust storms, temperatures as low as -140?C and tricky terrain, like this formation near Endurance Crater which scientists believe may show evidence of erosion caused by waterthe rovers face high winds, planet-wide dust storms and tricky terrain, like this formation near Endurance Crater which scientists believe may show evidence of erosion by water

_after 672 Martian days ? or ‘sols’ ? on the move, Spirit surveys its dusty, desolate surroundings

_after seven months in space, the two capsules hit the Martian atmosphere at 5.4 kilometres per second. heat shields and parachutes, like this one being tested in a wind tunnel, slowed the spacecraft down and set up two perfect landings. ‘Spirit’ touched down in Gustav crater while ‘Opportunity’ glided down in Meridiani Planum, a vast swindswept plain on the other side of the planet

_prior to launch, the rovers were loaded into carefully prepared landing capsules designed to survive the tricky descent to the Martian surface. of the eleven attempts to land on Mars, five have failed, including Britain’s ill-fated Beagle 2

_image: NASA / JPL-Caltech


this month, the Science Photo Library celebrates 25 years of providing stunning science-related images, so we thought we’d end the year on a Christmas-themed note with this infrared satellite image of Mount Merapi in Indonesia. captured by the ASTER thermal sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite, it shows ash (grey) rising over the lush forests (red)


_image: NASA / Science Photo Library