This is a project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time. And about six weeks ago, something just went twang in my head, and I finally decided to actually do it.
I have always been fascinated by stellar spectroscopy, which is the method used by astronomers to examine the chemical composition of stars and other luminous objects. This is one of those areas of science that is not only interesting for its own sake, but produces an understanding of the universe that is staggeringly beautiful. The discoveries produced by this technique have radically changed our understanding of the relationship between us and the rest of the cosmos.
Once upon a time, it was reasonable to think that the Earth and the cosmos could be entirely different kinds of things — a physical world surrounded by an ethereal heavens. But this is no longer true. The ability to examine starlight in detail has revealed that we and the rest of the universe are connected in deep ways.
This project is a short film that looks at this branch of astronomy, and explains it for a lay audience. Titled The Rainbow and the Stars, it is my attempt to illustrate something wonderful about the world we live in.
The Rainbow and the Stars is currently in production and will be released on YouTube in the next few weeks.