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The Art of Astrophysics - 2014 IAP Competition

Many thanks to the members of the greater MIT community who submitted such incredible pieces of artwork to this year's Art of Astrophysics Competition. We received 49 beautiful and thought-provoking entries to this year's competition, which can be viewed on our MIT Art of Astrophysics flickr page. As announced at the brief gallery exhibit held in Lobby 10 on the MIT campus on January 31, 2014, the prize-winning pieces for this year are:

  • The Life of a Star in the Flame Nebula by rbowru, cklang, greener, jsurick, srkeyes, nicolekg, camilara, ycoroneo, swarkland, acrefoot, erosser (as identified by their MIT account names); first place prize, $300.
  • Postcard from the Moon, Hannah Wood; honorable mention, $75.
  • Sight Beyond the Stars by Natalia Guerrero; honorable mention, $75.
  • Selenographia Revisited by Michael Benson, Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine; honorable mention, $75.
  • The Big Bang by Kiran Wattamwar, Christina Sun; honorable mention, $75.
  • 100 Planetary Nebulas by Judy Schmidt; favorite non-MIT entry, $50.
  • Pink Nebula by Conny Goelz-Schmiit; audience favorite, $25.
  • Telescopic Moon, First Quarter by Elizabeth Cavicchi; audience favorite, $25.

    Congratulations to the creators of these awesome pieces of art! The jury and the crowds at the exhibit were blown away by the creativity and beauty of all the submitted works. Take a moment to check out the entries!

  • Participating is easy. Simply submit works of art somehow related to astronomy/astrophysics! There are two basic rules:

  • The artwork must be creative.
  • The artwork must teach us something about the Universe.
  • Feel free to interpret "artwork" however you like. Maybe for you it means time lapse photos of star trails over Cambridge, or sonifications of satellite data, or landscape paintings of starset on extrasolar planets, or blown glass brown dwarfs, or animations of the world seen through microwave eyes, or knitted galaxies, or ceramic telescope teacups, or absolutely anything else! We've included links to some projects online that might inspire you, and we hope you'll let your creativity run wild!

    If you would like to contribute but don't know where to begin, please contact us! If you're an artist in search of an idea to represent, we can find astronomers with whom you can collaborate. If you're a scientist wondering how to tackle an art project, we can help point you in the right direction. We're happy to help brainstorm, to try to track down techniques or supplies, and to bring people together to collaborate and learn from each other.

    The competition culminated in a brief exhibition of the submitted works on Friday, January 31 on the MIT campus. Photos of this event can be found on our flickr page.