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DailyTidings.com
  • Seeing stars

    Stellar work by Ashland artist in show opening tonight
  • Imagine being able to stand on Earth and look at the sky at any time, millions of years in the past or future — or being able to stand at any point in the galaxy and look at the heavens as they really are.
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  • Imagine being able to stand on Earth and look at the sky at any time, millions of years in the past or future — or being able to stand at any point in the galaxy and look at the heavens as they really are.
    Erik Anderson, an Ashland man with an extreme fascination for stars, has published a book, "Vistas of Many Worlds," that allows you to do just that.
    Using computer-generated imagery and a vast, accurate database of stars, Anderson, 44, has dreamed up fantastical scenarios that fill his book with dozens of ethereal pictures.
    One shows the hominid "Lucy" looking up from Africa 3.2 million years ago at a very different Orion, while another depicts a newly discovered planet orbiting its binary suns, as seen from a hypothetical moon of the planet. The stars in the stunning picture of the ringed planet are 200 light years away, so no one has ever seen the array from nearby, but the location, brightness and direction of the stars are accurate, says Anderson.
    Anderson has mounted many of the astro-pics on vinyl-coated aluminum sheeting and is showing them at Adelante! Gallery, 88 N. Main St., Ashland. His exhibit opens tonight during First Friday's art walk with a reception and book signing from 5 to 8 p.m. The wall art prints are $550 each and his hardbound, 125-page book is $29.95. A complete star map published a few years ago is $16.99 and has been selling well, he says.
    The books are self-published and will be published as iBooks through the Apple Store later this year.
    "I call it astronomy art," says Anderson, a self-taught astronomer. "I've done the research over many years and I have the database of 100,000 stars and their motions through space, so I'm able to project any viewpoint within several thousand light years and go forward and back in time."
    We may think of the starry skies as static, but to Anderson, they're very much in motion, if you give them enough time.
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