NGC 4038/NGC 4039 Antennae Galaxy under Normal vs UV Light

One of my favorite interstellar subject is the Interacting Galaxies. The energy, movement and colours of the colliding galaxies inspired me to work on intergalactic subjects. Do you recognize these colliding intergalactic giants? Yes, it’s the Antennae Galaxies, or known as NGC 4038/NGC 4039 in the constellation Corvus. Based on the painting, the two galaxies are dotted with brilliant blue star forming regions surrounded by glowing hydrogen gas, appearing in the painting in pink. The yellow blobs to the left and right of painting center are the two cores of the original galaxies and consist mainly of old stars crisscrossed by filaments of dust, which I illustrated with brownish black tendrils. The galaxies are currently going through a starburst phase, in which the collision of clouds of gas and dust, with entangled magnetic fields, causes rapid star formation. The fluorescent chemical in the neon paints absorbed the invisible UV radiation & emits the energy in visible glow. The neon paints emphasize the active region of star birth (blue and pink glow) and the core of both galaxies indicating the residence of older stars (yellow glow).

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Nurul Syahirah Nazarudin

My name is Nurul Syahirah Binti Nazarudin and I’m a Malaysian Space Artist. I create cosmic arts to deliver the beauty of the night sky and raise universe awareness for Malaysian as well as international public. I’m a dark sky advocate for Dark Sky Malaysia and International Dark Sky Association and as a space artist, I reach out to the public about the dangers of light pollution and the importance of dark sky through my artworks. I was invited to virtual talks and participated in conferences to communicate astronomy and light pollution awareness through artistic works. Being a space artist is a part of my busy life as I’m a full-time educator during the day and as a teacher, I always encourage my students to incorporate arts in their learning.

As an astronomical artist, I am passionate to connect the public with astronomy through work of arts. The delights of observing the night sky have inspired artists, composers, and poets to interpret the universe in their own creative way. Until today, humanity is inspired by the wonders of the night sky and has been continuously producing works of art to express the astronomical connection and to simulate the world beyond the sight of our telescopes and cameras. By expressing my passion for cosmos in form of arts, I inspire those who are not involved in the field to enjoy Astronomy as much as I do. Even though the space out there is beyond our touch(yet), I want to make it reachable through my perspective of the universe. Based on my experience, whenever people look at my arts, curiosity sparked in them and they wanted to know what are my paintings all about. I explained to them the subjects in my paintings and this bridges astronomy to my audiences. Space science provide a deeper meaning to my artistic work and help the viewer to relate themselves with the universe in a more “human” way.

Besides Astronomy, I also communicate light pollution and dark sky awareness through arts. Light pollution is an underrated and minimized issue which requires more attention from the public. I want to spread the awareness about light pollution to the public in a creative and eye-catching way to the public with my arts. Through arts, the knowledge about our universe and light pollution can be carried in a creative, conspicuous, and stimulating way.

This artwork is copyright © Nurul Syahirah Nazarudin. All rights reserved.