staring at our Sun (transit of Mercury)        

wip cascading accordion (hoping to release at LAABF2017)

full cascading accordion print

full cascading accordion print

Sun image credits:  NASA (SDO, AIA)staring_at_our_Sun.html

on may 9, 2016, Mercury passed between the Sun and Earth (& NASA’s SDO satellite) for seven and a half hours. NASA captured this in 15 minute increments (as they do everyday here) - recording a tiny (Mercury-sized) dark spot crossing from left to right in front of our giant Sun. i chose 38 images - nine and a half hours - which also includes Mercury’s approach toward, and departure away from, our Sun.


showing the full Sun on a 3.5 inch high print (a good size for cascading accordion flow) makes Mercury too small to see.

i enlarged the NASA images to 100 inches square, resulting in a half-inch Mercury. i copied a small rectangle (3.5 inch height by 4.75” wide) with Mercury at its center from each enlarged Sun, stitched all 38 resulting images into a 3.5 inch high by 180.5 inch wide print, & folded that into a 76 page accordion book. when played as a cascading accordion, this book animates, providing a zoomed in view of Mercury’s transit across our enormous Sun.

detail of Mercury’s approach to our Sun

i also made a fantastic (e.g., impossible) subedition

staring at our Sun (transit of Mercury (NASA Mercury))

wip cascading accordion (hoping to release at LAABF2017).

(source: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab/Carnegie Institute of Washington, published june 14, 2014)

i found a large NASA image of Mercury (above), resized Mercury to fit my cascading accordion, and pasted copies of the half-inch NASA Mercury (at 69% opacity) on top of the Mercury dark spot in each image, creating impossible (but satisfying) images (Mercury could not be lit by the Sun while also blocking the Sun from our vantage point) for this subedition.

detail of Mercury’s departure away from our Sun (with NASA Mercury)

staring at our Sun (transit of Mercury) (NASA Mercury subedition)

wip cascading accordion (hoping to release at LAABF2017).