Antonio Petruccelli (1) The Solar Furnace

Antonio Petruccelli - Sun Cutaway

I recently picked up some semi-vintage Scientific/Natural History Books that belonged to my late uncle, loads of superb stuff that I’ll be posting over the course of the rest of the year…

Onto the first scan then – this amazing image is taken from the 1970 edition of the Time-Life International book “The Universe” and is by an artist I’d not come across before, Italian American Antonio Petruccelli (1907-1994) born in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Alas, I’ve had to crop this as the painting covers the spread, it really has to be seen to be believed the colours are something else, and I’ve done my best to keep them intact here…

A snippet from the Illustrations accompanying text: “A Close look at the Solar Furnace”

The Sun’s vast sphere, 864,000 miles in diameter contains 335 billion cubic miles of violently hot gasses that weigh more than 2,000 quadrillion tons. Direct study can probe no deeper than the sun’s double atmosphere (the tenuous outer corona and the shallow, inner chromosphere) and it’s surface skin (the photosphere), because only the energy from these two zones

NSF (1) – Aurora Australis

NSF (1) – Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis

A selection of five galactic vista’s featuring the phenomenon ‘Aurora Australis‘ dancing high above the South Pole Telescope at Amundsen-Scott Station, Antarctica.

The Aurora Australis is the Southern Hemispherical equivalent of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights. Auroras occur when Solar Wind carrying charged particles from the Sun enter the upper atmosphere and are accelerated through Earth’s magnetic field. The Southern lights are less witnessed than there Northern counterpart, mainly due to the fact there’s much less inhabited land at high southern latitudes.

Read more about Auroras here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora_(astronomy)

The photos are taken from the National Science Foundation (NSF) website’s multimedia gallery which is fantastic source of high res imagery, from Galactic Panorama’s to renderings of Computational Fluid Dynamics – suffice to say there’s some pretty trippy stuff, well worth a look: http://ow.ly/kabe

Photography by Keith Vanderlinde, National Science Foundation / U.S. Antarctic Program. Hi-Res versions of these shots are at: