Enso Mirror

left: SNR 0509 as imaged by the Hubble telescope


right: Eccentric Orbit, No. 7, 2010

         47.5 inches x 31.5 inches

         Spinel, meteorite dusts, cinnabar, gold and carbon on paper


Yesterday morning, when I opened APOD, I encountered this composite Hubble Telescope image of SNR 0509 (image on the left).  This supernova remnant is a mere 160,000 light years away in the Large Megellanic Cloud.  The red rippled ring is composed of hydrogen that is being shocked into a higher state of energy by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. The calculation is that the initial explosion occurred about four centuries earlier. When light from a supernova first reaches Earth, it is often as bright as the moon or sun and then over the course of weeks it gradually fades away.  A particularly fine enigma is why no one saw this initial burst of light when it passed by Earth four hundred years ago? And, if people did see it, why didn't anyone write about it?  I'd say those ancient Zen praciticioners who were making circles (ensos) over and over were up to something! Perhaps we should consider them astronomical calligraphers.

This supernova remnant measures 23 light years across.  I've compared it with a couple of my own meteoritic ensos and to my amazement have found that the rings are exactly the same size. On the right for comparison is a painting titled “Eccentric Orbit, No. 7.” This seems set a new standard of measurement and so I've thrown all of my tape measures away as they are way off and there seems to be NO way of reconciling the differences. Despite their radically large scale, my paintings continue to fit well into frames and dazzle on walls.  No explanation yet of how this apparent discrepancy can be.  Do you measure the mirror, or its reflection?

This particular painting will be on display for the next few weeks at GeoDécor, purveyors of some of the finest fossils, minerals, and meteorites in the world.  This painting along with several others will be shown along side Marvin Killgore's extraordinary collection of meteorites.