Mita Solanky

These prints are solar plate etchings of data from a satellite that records the energy emitted from dying stars. The data was shared with me by Dr Kim Page an astrophysicist whose research looks at recording observations of these incredible explosions (gamma ray bursts) and their so-called ‘afterglow’. It is these explosions that left a trace deposit of gold through meteorites that collided with earth when it was forming. 

I used the solar plate printmaking method that uses UV radiation to capture images, as essentially this is the same principal the detectors use to record data. The satellite (Swift) is able to respond to GRB events by positioning itself to point at the source, it does this several times for the afterglow duration.

I also used an instrumentation plate made for Swift and have used it to create an emboss to mimic the satellite shifts. Taking the data collected over the afterglow period (around 7 days) from the event, solar plate prints have been used to express this data. The X-ray data print is a very dense image with even the faintest afterglow being registered. The UV data print uses the ‘white’ band of UV/Optical wavelengths recorded – closest to what the naked eye would see through a telescope if it were pointed at the event. The Violet afterglow records data in the violet range of light. 

Gold pigment has been used in the embossing to reflect the element on earth that is a tangible connection between human civilisations and these spectacular events of the early cosmos. 

(please note attached images show unframed prints for the X-ray afterglow and ultraviolet afterglow, the violet afterglow is shown framed, all prints will be presented as framed if selected).