Artist Phil Coy, winner of a 2010 London Artists’ Film and Video Award, is currently developing his own commissioned artwork in collaboration with Dr Hugh Mortimer, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) and Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory. Coy has been interested in satellite imagery and pixels for some time and the image above shows one of his previous works. The resulting work will be shown at the Royal Museums Greenwich.
Invisible Dust produced a space science and art project with Hounsdown School, Southampton ‘Invisible Waves’ with artist Phil Coy, space scientist Dr Hugh Mortimer and Elizabeth Jeavans science communicator in 2013.
Phil Coy worked with the students at Hounsdown Secondary School in Southampton to create short videos using archive footage and Earth observation imagery from space satellites. A wider schools day took place for students at the National Oceanography Centre, and Hounsdown visited the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the Royal Observatory and the Tate.
The students explored Dr Mortimer’s research which focuses on developing Earth observation satellite systems and methods to validate the data received from these instruments, and has been instrumental in the deployment of the SISTeR (Scanning Infrared Sea Surface Temperature Radiometer) instrument, on the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship which was installed in 2010. The SISTeR measurement is being used to validate measurements of sea surface temperature from satellites such as the RAL designed infrared radiometer flown on the Envisat spacecraft.
Sea surface temperatures are a major measure of Climate Change and weather forecasts. The Queen Mary 2 is one of the world’s largest cruise ships and has the first on board planetarium. It docks at Southampton and then travels around the world.
By integrating the programme into their school curriculum, students leart about the concrete applications of space science and find a new source of inspiration for their artistic and imaginative endeavours, broadening their perspective on science as a future career path gives.
‘Invisible Waves’ was developed as the education part of Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price’s RAL residency. The project is supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and South East Physics Network.