Astro art

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Astro Art is the product of an artist and a creative idea that is associated with astronomy, atmospheric objects, or phenomena — real or imagined, future or historical. It is the creative process of communicating ideas about such objects through art.

It is also an alternative name for Space Art or Astronomical Art, which concerns art or painting (traditional or digital) of objects in outer space, including galaxies, nebulae, stars, planets, moons, asteroids, etc. Space art may also include artifacts such as hardware, e.g. vehicles, satellites, rovers, bases or space stations, astronauts or robotic constructions.

Byrd Memorial pointing to the south celestial pole

The art-form was used to weave stories into songs called waiata, which later became oral history. This form of Astro Art contained information regarding natural resources and navigation in Pacific civilizations.

Modern computing software has enabled new methods of creating astro art, and the internet has enabled new methods of sharing it.

Art, science, and technology often meet as equal partners for Astro artists while they are creating new work.

"Astro Art" was registered as a business name in the UK by David A. Hardy [1] in 1970, registration number 1528398.

Faceless with Comets
Lunacy Project (1 of 4)


  • Painting and drawing
  • Photography
  • Digital image creation and/or manipulation
  • Sculpture
  • Architecture
  • Optical
  • Mathematical
  • Software
  • Communications
  • Teaching
  • Print making
Full Moon Over Lyall Bay.jpg
The Cow Ate Over the Moon
Full Moon rising with old crane


  • Terrestrial
  • Atmospheric
  • Astronomical
  • Planetary
  • Deep Space
  • Science fiction
Gifford Observatory mural
Aurora Australis with the Southern Cross - symbols of Rakiura and Aotearoa


  • Paper, canvas, Oil, acrylic, water colors, pencil, charcoal. Examples - Awanui Hamon, Ursula MacFarlane.
  • Books, magazines, newspaper. Examples - Work of the Gods.
  • Film, video. Examples - Star Trek, Doctor Who, Star Wars.
  • Music. Examples - Pink Floyd, Manfred Mann.
  • Theatre. Examples - Bright Star, Circa Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Computer, photographic. Screen-based, still images, and movies, both local and projected. Examples - Sharing Space.
  • Steel, aluminium, other metals. Examples - Umbrella Sculpture, Invercargill, New Zealand. Pipehenge, locations around New Zealand.
  • Ceramics, stone, other rocks or bricks. Examples - Byrd Memorial.
  • Timber, poles, carvings. Examples - Civic square in Wellington.
  • Postage stamps.
  • Observatory walls. Astro Art is used to decorate observatories with themes - often historic themes. Examples - Gifford Observatory, Carter Observatory.
Te Papa with Full Moon Rising - Adjacent to Circa theatre, home of Bright Star play
Sharing Space - symbol of internet growth in sharing astro and atmospheric images


  • Invercargill: Known as "The City of Water and Light", New Zealand, and created by Artist Russel Beck. An umbrella created in steel and aligned with the south celestial pole, it shows the celestial latitude and longitude. It is also a sundial. The axis of the "handle" points to the south celestial pole, and the "raindrops" are all the brighter circumpolar stars, mapped out to their correct places with the spokes of the "umbrella" occurring at a set interval showing hours of RA.
  • Wellington: A memorial to Admiral Byrd made of rocks from Antarctica, it possesses glazed tiles with aurora australis impressionistic designs as the cladding. The shape is pyramidal, with the main sloping roofline pointed at the SCP (south celestial pole).
  • Wellington, A set of in the centre of the city. One is a spherical grille, suspended above civic square, with images of silver ferns. Another is pyramidal with slot cut through the main structure, the roofline pointed at the SCP, (south celestial pole). Wooden poles with solar system objects are close to a pedestrian bridge, clad with carved wooden beams.

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