staring at our Sun (twister) cascading accordion


on september 2, 2015, NASA’s SDO satellite captured a 3 day plasma storm on the edge of our Sun (as discussed here; NASA video here) - “a small, but complex mass of plasma gyrated and spun about over the course of 40 hours above the surface of the Sun (sept. 1-3, 2015). it was stretched and pulled back and forth by powerful magnetic forces but not ripped apart in this sequence” (NASA, from above link). 


the magnetic storm reminds me of a giant solar tornado. after some experimentation, i created a cascading accordion from 58 NASA images so that i could hold a solar twister in my hands and animated it forward and backward in time. 

i chose images from NASA’s AIA193 filter because they enlarged nicely (necessary as i was focusing on a small section of the Sun) and recorded the movement of the storm well. AIA193 shows temperature ranges, at the bright spots, between 1.2 and 20 million degrees Kelvin (mostly around 1,500,000°K).


for the 2016 Tokyo Art Book Fair, i created three subeditions of this work (shown above right) - the variations in size impacting the speed and difficulty of playing the cascading accordions (smaller works are faster, cheaper, and more out of control) and allowing different access points to the work.

(detail)

(full print - XL subedition)