Dan Durda's Space Art Gallery

UPDATE: See my 3D Impact page for my latest digital art!

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More space art links...

Hawaiian Night. March 2002. Artwork commissioned to represent a bright, greenish star cluster illuminating a beach evoking a "Hawaiian" feeling.

New Horizons. August 2001. Artwork commissioned for the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Pluto's horizon spans the foreground, looking past its moon, Charon, toward the distant, star-like Sun.

Cosmic Chasm. January 2001. I am intrigued by the possibilities for beautiful vistas offered by moons of some of the many Jovian planets now being discovered around nearby, Sun-like stars. Featured in the September/October 2001 issue of The Planetary Report.

Collision in the Kuiper Belt. June 2000. Two icy worlds collide at 1 km/s in the Kuiper Belt. The Sun, 45 AU away, shines as a very bright star embedded in the glow of the zodiacal dust cloud. The planets Jupiter and Neptune are visible to the right. Although you would not actually see the myriad other objects that make up the Kuiper Belt, they have been shown here to give the impression of orbiting in an extensive disk of icy worlds beyond Pluto. Featured in the September 2000 issue of Astronomy.

Bubble Gum Moon. June 2000. If you ever wondered where bubble gum ice cream comes from....

Meadows and Mountains. April 1999. A painting inspired by spring time in Boulder, Colorado.

Emerald Sea. June 1998. Another cluster, this time in green.

Planet in Pink and Purple. April 1998. An Earth-like planet and its moon are illuminated by a nearby open cluster. An experiment with a different palette.

Iceberg Fantasy. April 1998. A cold ocean planet near a distant cluster of stars.

Happy Birthday - 2028! March 1998. A digital composite from two of my previous paintings. Asteroid 1997 XF11 will make a very close pass by the Earth on my 63rd birthday. Featured in the May/June 2000 issue of The Planetary Report.

Sunset on a tropical moon. May 1997. A painting donated to The Planetary Society to benefit the Carl Sagan Fund for the Future. This painting is dedicated to Carl and the memory of his enthusiasm for the search for life in the universe. The recent discovery of a number of Jupiter-like worlds orbiting Sun-like stars hints that there may be many stages for the play of life. Here, I've depicted a serene sunset on a tropical moon orbiting one of those planets. The abundant clear water and lush sea cliffs bespeak a world teaming with life. The tropical, Hawaiian scene depicted in this painting is doubly meaningful for me; I last spoke with Carl at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences in Hawaii in October of 1995.

Caldera. February 1997. A blue-green gas giant fills the twilight over a seething caldera on an alien moon.

Greeting the dawn. February 1997. A lone saguaro cactus greets the Moon, Venus, and Mercury in a southern Arizona dawn.

Evening planet (detail). January 1997. Detail from a painting of a ringed planet in the evening twilight on an icy moon.

Starcloud. November 1996. Two moons near a large star-forming region are illuminated by their local star, out of frame, to the upper right.

One minute to impact.... September 1996. A 2 kilometer near-Earth asteroid makes its final encounter with Earth. Featured in the July 1998 issue of Sky & Telescope.

In the ringplane II. August 1996. A view from the ringplane of another an blue-green world. The local star is a binary, with a brighter, white-hot primary and a fainter, red companion.

Sunset on an ocean moon. July 1996. Sunset on a watery moon orbiting a ringed planet in a nearby star system. The planet's rapid rotation causes it to bulge outward at the equator, much like Saturn. Featured in the July/August 1997 issue of The Planetary Report.

Comet Hyakutake at closest approach. March 1996. Comet Hyakutake passed within 15 million kilometers of the Earth on March 25, 1996. This is a view of the nucleus of the comet looking back toward Earth at the moment of closest approach. All the stars in the painting are correct to 8th magnitude. To see a starchart showing the field of view of the painting, click here.

Hale-Bopp over Sonora. February 1996. Comet Hale-Bopp in the evening sky over a Sonoran Desert landscape. Featured in Alan Hale's book "Everybody's Comet" and the April 1997 issue of Final Frontier.

Another blue home II (detail). January 1996. A detail from the second version of the painting.

Supernova! December 1995. A gas giant planet is stripped of its atmosphere, and its moons turned into mega-comets, as the local sun explodes.

Tucson twilight. November 1995. This is the view of Tucson from my home during my evening walks in the Santa Catalina foothills.

Gliese 229B. October 1995. The recently discovered companion to the red dwarf star Gliese 229, accompanied by its large, Earth-like moon. At 20 to 50 Jupiter-masses, this "brown dwarf" glows feebly at about 1000 degrees Celsius. Featured in the April 1996 issue of Sky & Telescope.

Red giant sunset. September 1995. A red giant and its white dwarf companion set over a mountain lake on an alien planet.

Double trouble. August 1995. A binary near-Earth asteroid on a collision course with Earth. The impact of the pair will make a doublet crater somewhere on the planet. Featured in the November/December 1996 issue of The Planetary Report.

Binary in a cluster. March 1995. On the fringes of an open cluster, a red giant and its blue giant companion illuminate a flat-floored crater on an icy planet.

In the ringplane. February 1995. A view from the ringplane of an alien blue-green world.

Another blue home. January 1995. A terrestrial planet with several small moons in another star system perhaps not too far away...

April 2002

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