Astronomy Craft Night

It started with Diane.  She was in the midst of turning out the lights in Pittsburgh.  The purpose was to make more people aware of the beauty hanging above us nightly.  Seldom seen through the glow of the city, a sea of stars, nebulae and galaxies await our gaze.  Her quest, to spread knowledge about light pollution, continued from Earth Hour to Pop Craft Astronomy Night, and soon she will be presenting at TEDxPittsburgh.  Thankfully she was inspired to combine art and astronomy, giving Pop Craft a chance to support her cause among such notable events.

Forming the Universe

Kicking off with Krypton and Neon, crafters sported fun eye wear while observing the colors produced by different gasses found in the universe.  Equipped with information on their colors and forms, we created realistic galaxies and nebulae on the cover of our Astro Journals.  By pouncing paint onto a black chipboard, we layered colors until cosmic clouds took shape.  To bring the space scape together, stars sparkled onto the cover with a flick of a paint brush.

Issue of Light Pollution

We learned the difference between blue light, the most pervasive and sky coloring culprit, and the more mild mannered red light.  Understanding how light scatters is the first step in finding ways to reduce it’s excess in order to eliminate light pollution and other adverse effects it has been linked to in the health of people and animals.  Now thirsty for the sight of heavenly bodies, we sewed together the pages of our journal.  After a few dabs of glue, we had journals filled with graph paper, ready to record our real life observations of the galactic scenery adorning their covers.

Cosmic Creativity

Astronomy craft night was the most unique Pop Craft class yet.  Everyone had fun forming their corner of the universe.  It was a delight to have Diane provide us with insights about our night sky.  I couldn’t have imagined a better opportunity to combine art and science.

To learn more about light pollution, you can hear Diane Turnshek, CMU Physics Department faculty and astronomer, speak at the upcoming TEDxPittsburgh conference.