About Me

Welcome to my Art, Astronomy and Photography Blog. In my professional life I am an Art Director and Production Designer in the animation industry. Some of my film credits include "Anastasia", "Titan AE" and "Barnyard the Original Party Animals". I have also worked on TV Shows like "The Simpsons", "Beavis and Butthead", "Back at the Barnyard" and "Planet Sheen". If you would like to see my work related art please click on the Go For Launch Productions link below. Although I am very passionate about what I do for a living my other passions are photography, painting, astronomy, astrophotography and anything to do with NASA so the subject matter of most of my paintings is related to the space program and I have enhanced some of my photographs to give them an extraterrestrial feel. My paintings and photographs are organized into several catagories in the links below. Browse around and enjoy.


Stars are the building blocks of life. We owe our entire existence to them. This may seem like a strange thought considering a star is a massive fusion reactor giving off  intence heat. Our own Star, the Sun, is about 5,800 Kelvin or 9980 Fahrenheit at the surface and 13,600,000 Kelvin or 24,4479,540 Fahrenheit at the core. So how does this produce life you ask? Here is the really short explanation.

Stars form out of nebulous gas (Molecular Cloud) (lets call it MC for short) much like what you see in the Great Orion Nebula. The MC contains the building blocks of life holding all the elements. Over time gravity and pressure pulls the MC together on itself, forming a large Plasma sphere and as the sphere gets bigger and bigger more and more of the MC is attracted to the sphere by gravity. Keep in mind the MC is made up from the elements. Over time the Plasma sphere gets denser and denser. Think of compressing the earth down to the size of a beach-ball and the beach-ball keeps getting bigger and bigger. Everything at the molecular level is now getting compacted so tightly and the friction is so intense, it creates enough heat for a fusion reaction to takes place. Atoms of hydrogen are fused together to create helium and a star is born.

In the outburst of the star's initial fusion reaction the remaining MC is pushed away from the star like the wave signature of an explosion. Over time gravity from the new star again acts on the MC and planets start to form.  Some become Gas Giants like Jupiter and some become big spheres of rock. In some cases the MC comes together in the right place to form a planet like earth. Over time the planet cools, comets that formed from the MC deliver water and the star delivers its vital sunshine for life to start forming. This process of course does not happen in a few days, it takes billions of years.  Over time some stars use up all their energy and go super nova and the whole process starts over again.

It is also believed that there is a star in our universe for every grain of sand found on all the beaches on earth combined. Something to think about the next time you are at the beach or look up at the stars in the night sky.    

Stars of The Big Dipper

The BIG DIPPER or the PLOUGH  consists of  the 7 bright stars in the constellation Ursa Major. The stars distances varies. Dubhe 1.8 Light Years. Merak 2.4 Light Years. Phecda (Phad) 2.4 Light Years. Megrez 3.3 Light Years. Alioth 1.8 Light Years. Mizar 2.1 Light Years. Alkaid 1.9 Light Years.  

"Procyon" is the brightest star in Canis Minor. It can be seen with the naked eye and is the eighth brightest star in the night sky. It is a binary system consisting of a white-main sequence star and a dwarf companion. The star system is only 11.46 light years from earth and is one of our nearest stellar neighbors. Its closest neighboring star (lower blue star dwarf) is Luyten's Star. It is about 1.12 light years from Procyon.

"Castor" is the second brightest star in the constellation Gemini. Castor is a multiple star system. The System is about 51 light years from earth. 

"Regulus" is the brightest star in the constellation Leo. It is one of the brightest stars in the night sky and is around 79 light years from earth. It is a multiple star system consisting of four stars. Regulus is about 3.5 times the mas of our Sun. Interestingly Regulus spins rapidly with a rotation period of only 15.9 hours.

"Pollux" is a giant orange star. It is 34 light years from our Sun and is the closest giant classed star to the Sun. Pollux has an exoplanet called Thestias. 

"Bellatrix" is the 3rd brightest star in the constellation Orion. It is the 27th brightest star in the night sky. Bellatrix is a massive star that is about 8.4 times the mass of our Sun. It is around 250 light years from Earth.

"Dubhe" is located in the Big Dipper at the top northern point. It is this star that points to Polaris. It is around 123 light years from earth. It is a binary system with the larger of the two being a giant star that has come away from Main Sequence after consuming all of its hydrogen. 

"Merak" is one of the stars that makes up the Big Dipper. It makes up the lowe far end of the Dipper or "The Plough" as it is sometimes called. It is around 79.7 light years from Earth. 

"Algieba" is a binary system of two stars in the constellation Leo. The name Algieba is Arabic (Al_Jabhah). The larger star has a luminosity 180 times greater than our Sun and has a diameter 23 times larger than our Sun. The smaller star has a luminosity 50 times that of our Sun and a diameter 10 times that of out Sun. The two stars are about 170 AU apart with an orbit period of about 500 years. The two stars are around 130 light years from earth. 

"Mizar and Alcor" are the bright stars that make up the Handle of the Big Dipper in the constellation Ursa Major. Mizar itself is a quadruple system and Alcor is a binary system. The whole system is about 83 light years from earth.

"Betelgeuse" is a red super giant and is around 640 light years from us. Some astronomers think it has already gone super nova so keep looking up at the constellation Orion and one day, maybe sooner than later you will notice an amazing colorful nebula in the sky. What a sight that would be. On lower right close to Betelgeuse is BG's companion star.

"Mintaka" is located around 916 light years away in the constellation of Orion. It is one of the Stars that makes up Orion's Belt. Mintaka is a multiple star system.

"Sirius" is the brightest star system in the night sky as seen from earth. The name "Sirius" came from the Ancient Greeks meaning "Glowing" or "Scorcher". Sirius is a binary system with Sirius A being the large main-sequence star. It's small companion Sirius B is a white dwarf star. Sirius A is around 8.7 light years from the earth and is around twice the size of our sun and is 25 times more luminous than the sun.

"Capella" is the 6th brightest star on the northern celestial hemisphere. It is located in the constellation Auriga. It is a star system of four stars with two binary pairs. The Capella system is about 42.2 light years away.

"The Pleiades" AKA The Seven Sisters and also known as M-45. The Pleiades one of the closer star clusters to the Earth and can be seen with the naked eye. This star formation formed within the last 100 million years

"Arcturus" is the brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere in the constellation Bootes. It is the forth brightest star in the night sky. It is a relatively close star at only 36.7 light years from Earth. Arcturus is an Orange Giant Star and is about 25 times the diameter of our Sun. It also radiates more than 100 times the light of our Sun.  

"Alnilam" is a blue super giant star and is about 1340 light years away located in the constellation of Orion. It is the 30th brightest star in the sky. It is one of the 3 stars that make up Orion's Belt. Alnilam is estimated to be 275,000 to 537,000 times as luminous as the Sun, and around 34 times as massive

"Alnitak" is a multiple star system located in the Orion Constellation. It is one of the stars that make up Orion’s Belt. The primary star is a hot blue super giant and is the brightest class “O” star in the night sky. It is estimated as being up to 33 times the mass of our Sun and to have a diameter 20 times greater.  Alnitak is about 1500 light years from earth.

"Rigel" is the brightest star in the constellation of Orion. It is also the 7th brightest star in the night sky. Rigel is a triple star system. It is a blue-white super giant and is 120,000 times as luminous as our sun.

"Aldebaran" is a massive orange giant star. It is around 65 light years away in the Zodiac Constellation. Aldebaran means "The Follower" because the star seems to follow the Pleiades also known as the Seven Sisters Cluster. Aldebaran is 44.2 times the diameter of the Sun and shines some 425 times the Sun's luminosity. 

"DENEBOLA" is the brightest star in the constellation of zodiac. It is a A-type main sequence star. The star is around 36 light years from our Sun.

"VINDEMIATRIX" is a white/yellow giant star. VINDEMIATRIX is living a slow death. It has exhausted its hydrogen and it is now burring up its helium. Because of this VINDEMIATRIX has expanded to 10 times the size of our sun. But no worries; it is around 109 light years from us.

"ALPHECCA" is a binary star system. It is in the constellation of Corona Borealis. It is around 75 light years from our Sun. It is a white main sequence star. 

"SPICA" is the brightest in the constellation of Virgo. It is the 16th brightest star on the night sky.  SPICA is a Blue Giant. It is around 10 light years from our Sun.

"MUPHRID" (AKA ETA BOOTIS) is a white to yellow sub giant star in the constellation of Bootes. The star is believed to be 1.9 Billion Years old. It is around 37 light years from out sun. For you star gazers MUPHRID can be seen with the naked eye.

"SEGINUS" is a star on the constellation of Bootes. It is around 85 light years from our sun.