Bluesci: Peering into the Past

Catherine Prowse Final Illustration.jpg

An editorial illustration for Bluesci, the Cambridge University science magazine, accompanying an article describing catching a glimpse of the distant past while observing the Orion Nebula through a telescope. The light from the cluster of stars and dust takes thirteen centuries to travel the 1,300 light-years to earth, so astronomers are seeing what the nebula looked like at around the start of the eighth century. The illustration centres around a formal similarity between the cogs and gears in pocket watch and the interlocking circular forms of vintage astronomical maps. When we look at the nebula we see, in a way, through time itself.