In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.
I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually “sees” or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.
The Global Database of Events, Language, and Tone (GDELT) tracksnews reports and codes them for 58 fields, from where an incident took place to what sort of event it was (these maps look at protests, violence, and changes in military and police posture) to ethnic and religious affiliations, among other categories. The dataset has recorded nearly 250 million events since 1979, according to its website, and is updated daily. John Beieler, a doctoral candidate at Penn State, has adapted these data into striking maps, like the one above of every protest recorded in GDELT — a breathtaking visual history lesson.
Molecules are really, really tiny … so small no-one can show them to you. That’s where Drew Berry comes in. He’s what’s known as a “biomedical animator”. His job is to build scientifically-accurate and aesthetically-rich computer graphics which reveal the microscopic world inside our bodies.
Berry brings a rigorous scientific approach to each project, immersing himself in relevant research to ensure current data are accurately represented. His animated renderings of key concepts such as cell death, tumour growth and DNA packaging show molecular shape, scale, behaviour, and spatio-temporal dynamics in action.
Berry’s animations, made to enlighten both scientists and the scientifically curious, have been exhibited at prestige venues like the Guggenheim and MOMA in New York and have won him an award for being a ‘Genius’. His illuminating TEDx Sydney show-and-tell includes wild graphics of DNA moving through the body and malaria infiltrating a baby’s vital organs after a mosquito bite.
Drew Berry trained as a cell biologist and microscopist, and has worked as a biomedical animator since 1995, most recently at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. Drew received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Melbourne. His animations have appeared in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Royal Institute of Great Britain, and the University of Geneva. In 2010, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.
Richard Prins' collection of pseudorandom perceptions