Cosmic Dust and Zodiacal Light


At secondary school I was a prefect and at break times I could wander around the school's long echoing corridors. When youíre a schoolboy you think teachers are all friends but I overheard two separate conversations which counter this. I recall the headmaster reprimanding the portly dishevelled French teacher (Mr Fernley): "You need to smart yourself up and not look like you come to school from an all-night drinking session.Ē


The other conversation was between two teachers discussing God. One said God created humans in His image and the other said this was nonsense and all the elements in the human bodies were made from stars which passed through supernovas billions of years ago. Iím too dumb to know who was right.


This second conversation about space compelled me to do a quick pit-stop painting. Space is a dusty place with billions of tons of particles swirling around. Thereís comet dust, planetary dust, asteroid dust, interstellar dust and dust from the Kuiper belt. In colour it is a deep, muted, sapphire blue with a nautical undertone and about 100 tons of it land on planet Earth every day.

With half an hour to spare and a blank canvas to ruin I paint some cosmic dust and zodiacal light. I didn't take any photos of the progress - if you can call it that. You may like to buy it and pretend you did it when you were four years old.