Image by Kim D. French
I’ve always liked Jackson Pollock’s work, but it wasn’t until I saw one of his pieces in person at MOMA a few years ago that I realized how electrically alive his paintings really are. It was, I thought, like looking into a human brain and seeing the crazy branched lightning of synapses firing.
The image below, created by the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), is a flattened representation of a 3D map showing 650 cubic billion light years, just a quarter of the known universe. Each speck isn’t a single star but an entire galaxy. Peering into it, I now realize that Pollock was painting more than just the mind. He was painting reality itself, the myriad blaze of infinite suns, as well as the swirling quantum dance deep within.
It is mind blowing how large our universe is. I remember looking at the deep field picture from
the Hubble telescope where they pointed the telescope at a tiny patch of starless sky in a long
exposure only for it to reveal a sea of tiny lights and every light a galaxy. That picture choked
me up with the impossible vastness of space. All of the galaxies revealed in a just a couple of
arc seconds of vision across the night sky anyone would reasonably accept that, by itself, as being a vast universe.
So awesome!!! I feel like people forget how small we are in this universe