Don Dixon's Astronomical Art Portfolio

Stars Galaxies and Cosmology
September 13 2016

  • 102-Globular-Cluster
    Globular clusters may the cores of galaxies that were disrupted by tidal interactions. Dozens of them swarm like bees about the core of the Milky Way ; acrylic…
  • 170-Our-Galaxy
    Our Galaxy. Stylized view of the Milky Way as seen from 100,000 light years. Acrylic on illustration board, 1988.
  • 326-Quasar-B
    intense jets of energy burst from the core of an active galaxy in this June, 1998 Scientific American cover - painting by Don Dixon
  • 329-Quantum-Foam
    an allegorical image based on the premise that our universe sprang from a quantum fluctuation in the cosmic vacuum - painting by Don Dixon
  • Big Bang
    A two dimensional portrayal of the Big Bang. Distance from the bright core represents increasing time. painting by Don Dixon
  • 348-Quantum-Cosmos
    mysterious energy causes the expansion of the universe to accelerate, cover, January 1999, Scientific American - painting by Don Dixon
  • 349-Horizon
    diagram showing how the expansion of the universe delays contact between two points because speed of light is finite - painting by Don Dixon for Scientific…
  • 358-Campanas-Survey
    Volume of Universe Explored by Campanas Survey - painting by Don Dixon for Scientific American
  • 359-Cosmic-Structure
    Large Scale Structure of Universe - painting by Don Dixon for Scientific American
  • 372-Evolution--of-stars
    Evolution of Galaxies, the Solar System, Stars and the Universe - painting by Don Dixon for Smithsonian Institution
  • 375-Microwave-Probe
    Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) - painting by Don Dixon for Scientific American
  • 382-Quintessence
    Quintessence, an energy that pervades space-time, may regulate the expansion of the universe - painting by Don Dixon for Scientific American
  • 385-Galactic-Atmosphere
    Even the galaxy has a kind of weather, in which fountains of tenous gas arch high above the galactic plain through vents blasted by supernova explosions -…
  • 386-Cosmic-Cycle
    Created in collaboration with Bryan Christie, this diagram illustrates a kind of cosmic ecology. Radiation from bright stars and violently ejected gases from…
  • 387-proto-galaxies
    Protogalaxies form within filamentary clouds of matter in the early universe.
  • 389-Universe-Time-line
    History of the universe in four stages: the Big Bang is marked by the left vertex, followed by a million-year dark age until the first stars form at the…
  • 401-Dark-Matter-Halo
    This diagram created for the March, 2003 issue of Scientific American suggests the immense halo of mysterious dark matter that many astrophysicists believe…
  • 409-Orion-constellation-3D
    The stars delineating the constellation Orion are dispersed across nearly 2,000 light years in this 3D representation. Digital, 2003. © 2005 by Don Dixon.
  • 411-CosmicInflation
    In the theory of cosmic inflation, the universe expands from the size of an atomic nucleus to a baseball in a tiny fraction of a second. Digital, 2005. © 2005…
  • 413-Ancient-Stars
    The most ancient stars in the universe may provide clues to its evolution. This montage, suggesting the formation of stars and galaxies out of the Big Bang, was…
  • 414-Cosmic-Brane
    Some scientists speculate that, if microscopic black holes can be formed by the Large Hadron Collider, they may bridge the hyperdimensional gap between "branes"…
  • 417-Cat-Eye-Nebula-Evolution
    The strange and beautiful shapes of planetary nebulae, like the Cat's Eye, form through complex interactions between stellar winds and magnetic fields.…
  • 431-HST-ultra-Deep-Field
    Diagram showing the very small part of the sky that was surveyed in the Hubble Space Telescope's Ultra Deep Field project. Digital diagram © Popular Mechanics,…
  • 432-Cosmic-Dark-Age
    Although the early universe was immensely hot, it was dark, because photons were not able to travel through the highly-ionized gas. In this diagram of cosmic…
  • 433-Hypernova
    Gamma rays burst from either pole of a shattered star undergoing a hypernova explosion. © Don Dixon, 2005.
  • 434-Lonely-Universe
    The universe becomes very lonely as dark energy pushes most of it beyond our horizon. Diagram for Scientific American, 2004. © 2005 by Don Dixon.
  • 435 Ancient Globular Cluster and asteroid
    Strange clusters that seem to be a cross between open and globular clusters harbor stars that may provide clues to the evolution of the early universe. Cover…
  • 453-type-2-supernova-diagram
    Diagram for Scientific American shows steps in a celestial cataclysm. As the nuclear reaction within a giant star's core falters, the core collapses, triggering…
  • 454-type-1-supernova-diagram
    Diagram for Scientific American shows second type of supernova. Gas captured from a close companion star accumulates on the surface of a white dwarf star. The…
  • 463-brown-dwarf-forming
    A brown dwarf star shines within its accretion disk. Streams of ionized dust and gas are drawn to the forming star by its magnetic field. Digital illustration…
  • 465-milky-way-bar-diagram
    Infographic showing the barred structure of our galaxy. Artwork © 2007 Don Dixon /
  • 476-lonely-galaxy
    Many billions of years in the future, the Milky Way will be alone in the observable universe, as all the local galaxies merge and the more distant ones recede…
  • 477-sun-early-star-compared
    The first stars, formed perhaps only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, were much more massive than our sun and much shorter lived, exploding as…
  • 486-supernova-melts-planet
    Mountain ranges melt on the outer planet of a star that has gone supernova. Even before the wave of ejecta from the exploding star reaches the planet, the…
  • Dusty halo around white dwarf star
    A white dwarf star is surrounded by a dusty halo of shattered planets, asteroids, and comets.
  • Galactic Star Streams
    Streams of stars orbiting outside the plane of the Milky Way are thought to be the remains of small galaxies that were disrupted by tidal interactions and which…
  • Evolution of stars, planets, and brown dwarfs
    Infographic showing how stars, planets, and brown dwarfs form depending on the mass of their parent nebula. Artwork © 2007 Don Dixon /
  • 263-Galaxy-Rising
    a spiral galaxy rises gracefully in the sky of an alien world. cover of "Mountain Astrologer";acrylic and goauche and digital;1983/2006; copyright Don Dixon /…
  • 495-Milky-Way-Rising
    Milky Way Rising over an extragalactic planet; Originally Spacescapes Number 60, this early gouache on illustration board painting shows our galaxy in the sky…
  • 053-Orion-Nebula
    Orion Nebula - an earthlike world, child of one of the young stars in the Great Nebula in Orion, floats near the outskirts of this stellar nursery. Acrylic and…
  • 497-solar-system-neighborhood
    The Sun's Neighbors -geography of the Milky Way Galaxy. Our sun orbits about 30,000 light years from the center of the galaxy, which contains approximately 400…
  • Universe in Hand
    503 - Universe in Hand — The universe is shown when it was only 10 centimeters in diameter, 10^-32 seconds after the Big Bang during the inflation era. Cover…
  • 504-thorne-zytkow-object-TZO
    504 Thorne Zytkow Object - TZO - a dead star inside a dying star. A neutron star stirs the chaotic heart of a red giant star. digital, copyright 2016 Don Dixon