I was introduced to the artwork of Lynette Cook via APOD. Her visions of extrasolar planets, with accompanying moons and stars as appropriate, are simply fantastic. There’s a press release for the above image, illustrating a recent planetary collision witnessed by astronomers working at Cal Tech, UCLA and Tennessee State University.
Here’s a snippet from her bio:
Today Lynette is best known for her paintings of exoplanets, several of which have accompanied discovery press releases. Her work on this subject began in 1995, following the announcement the first confirmed extrasolar planet orbiting a sunlike star, 51 Pegasi b. She now has a sizable collection of such artwork to her credit. These, and other astronomical pieces, have been presented throughout the world in books, periodicals, and documentaries published/produced by Astronomy, BBC Television, bild der wissenschaft (Germany), CNN, Cosas (Peru), The Discovery Channel, Eos (Belgium), Japan Public Television, The Learning Channel, PBS, Science et Vie (France), Science News, Sky & Telescope, Time, and US News & World Report, among others. Lynette’s original artwork has been exhibited across the United States as well.
It’s hard to pick just a couple of examples, there’s so much beautiful art to choose from! Here’s two of my favorites:
“55 Cancri b and c” © Lynette Cook, all rights reserved.
55 Cancri b and c — This painting of the 55 Cancri system was created in 1996 after the discovery announcement of the first planet. At that time, the outermost planet—now confirmed—was only suspected, and there was no hard data on the others. The first two discovered worlds are depicted here, with a large, cratered moon accompanying the outer planet. Shown in the distance is a red dwarf, the second star in this binary system.
“47 Ursae Majoris b and Moon” © Lynette Cook, all rights reserved.
47 Ursae Majoris b and Moon — 47 Ursae Majoris b may resemble Jupiter in appearance and may have moons with frozen water. In this painting, there is one moon with icy polar caps. Lightning can be seen on the dark side of the planet. The sun-like star appears in the distance.