Monthly Archives: April 2011

Animations for 3rd chapter – The Greeks

We didn’t have to create loads of new visuals for this chapter as I was able to use graphics from previous chapters. However I spend hours to create smooth animations, especially for Ptolemaic System (Earth is the centre of the Universe). 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Additional Overview wrote for possible narration…

Beginnings of modern astronomy

Here starts a more modern era in astronomy when new approaches and discoveries helped redefine our whole understanding of how the universe worked. Einsteins general theory of relativity among others, was a breakthrough in modern physics and helped us understand the links between space and time and gravity.


Taking a look at prehistoric times we discover how ancient astronomers also began to observe and record the sky using only the naked eye! Many prehistoric monuments and structures have been discovered which reveal how the cycles between the Sun, Moon and Earth could be tracked by man and the seasons predicted.

Space Race

One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind! As mankind entered the age of space travel, competition between cold war enemies the United States and the Soviet Union. This began a space race as the two rival countries each competed to become the first nation to achieve space exploration using a man-made structure!

Expanding Universe

Here we come to the crucial discoveries of Edwin Hubble who realized that the universe is expanding and not static as originally thought! Hubble made many key discoveries that helped confirm the existence of other galaxies and the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe!

20th century discoveries

As astronomy technology became more advanced,here we have a look through our knowledge of space in the 20th century and at some of the astonishing key discoveries that are helping to reveal the mysteries of the universe!

With the science and knowlege we now hold and the range of  high-tech instruments now available, let us ponder the many possible theories of the future and of the existance of life on other planets. But considering how far our journey has led us and future development of new tools  – perhaps the Great Unknown still to come…

The Space Race, Chapter 8

Our 8th Chapter shows how humanity was helped into the Space Age by the Cold War. For this chapter i created part of the lunar lander, the fist satellite ever launched in space (sputnik) and the surface of the moon by studying images from NASA and old Soviet Union photographs.

The chapter begins with sputnik whizzing around the Earth on its first flight with a gallery showing News paper articles about the Soviet space program from 1957.

Above you can see the Lunar on the left and my illustration of it on the right. I decided to create a small section of it accurately rather than the whole thing as the multiple shiny surfaces on the actual lander body were very difficult to represent in Illustrator.


from 2 to 3

I finished 2 more animations for Ancient Astronomers!! So 2nd chapter in nearly done, now came time for 3rd one, ie The Greeks.  Because their significant contributions to the development of astronomy,  we decided to create separate chapter for them. In this chapter we covered Aristotle, Ptolemy, Eratosthenes and Hipparchus. I draw their portraits using Adobe Illustrator. Eratosthenes





Column at Alexandria

The following is a column created in Photoshop for the animation showing how the circumference of the earth was first estimated.

Using the repousse tool I began with a 2d basic shape using the rectangular tool which was then changed to 3D. After that it was a case of trying out numerous textures and lighting angles to see which appeared the most realistic. Once the texture was chosen it was skewed to a more fitting shape and lines were added vertically with areas made darker/lighter for further realism.

Column to the left is the final product.



This week we were lucky enough to be invited to attend a private function held in Dunsink observatory in honour of Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienkos visit to Dublin!

Mikhail was over to mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin. While we were at the event we also had pre-arranged to record an interview with John Flannery – director of South Dublin astronomy club. John has been helping us with our project lately and gave us his opinion of how he believed our project held value. A major coup was also being fortunate to grab a few minutes with Mikhail himself! Indeed, he is a very busy man but found time at the end of the evening to share some of his experiences on camera. Wow, what an evening! We met lots of experts in the field, got asked to be interviewed on the radio for an astronomy show, and of course it’s not every day you get to be in close company of a man who last year spent 6 months living in space!

Unfortunately Simon cant be in the photograph and take it at the same time!!! What a gent to let us be the focus:-)


Nabta Playa

This time I edited Luan’s Stone Circle of Nabta Playa, create layout for Pyramids animation, clay tablet and also I started animation for Nabta Playa. Nabta Playa and Newgrange are from chapter 2 – Ancient Astronomy. In this chapter we also included Ancient Babylon Astronomy and Pyramids of Egypt.