OPTICKS: Live Cosmic Art Event Bounces Images off Moon

Apollo moonwalkers virtually return to lunar surface

April 29, 2016 - Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) is crossing another border-the gulf of space between the Earth and the Moon!

Everyone is invited to a special online cosmic art event with images submitted from around the globe, including personal photo and artwork from Apollo astronauts, that will be transmitted to the Moon and back as radio signals in real time.

In conjunction with visual artist Daniela de Paulis, radio amateur Jan van Miijlwijk, the CAMRAS radio amateurs association at the Dwingeloo radio telescope in the Netherlands, AWB is proud to present a unique Global Astronomy Month 2015 (GAM 2015) Google Hangout event, OPTICKS, on April 30, 20:00 UT (4:00 pm EDT/1:00 pm PDT).

OPTICKS will also include a very special photo from Apollo 16 astronaut Charles Duke. When Duke walked on the Moon in 1972 he left a photo of his family behind on the surface. Duke has sent a scan of this family photo to be sent to the Moon again, this time returning to Earth!

A painting by Apollo 12 astronaut and 'first artist on another world' Alan Bean will also be moonbounced. Drawing on his experiences as an astronaut to create stunning artwork of space, Bean says, "I'm the only one who can paint the moon, because I'm the only one who knows whether that's right or not." Bean even utilizes tools he used on the Moon to create his artworks. The Bean painting that will be moonbounced is called "'Please Take Me Back Home.”

Images are converted to radio waves and transmitted to the Moon live during the OPTICKS performance. The Moon's uneven surface reflects the radio signals and scatters them in all directions into space. Only a small fraction of the original signal is reflected earthward and received by the Dwingeloo radio telescope's antenna, where it is converted back into the original images. The resulting images show the effects of having interacted directly with the lunar surface.

For GAM 2015, OPTICKS will be presented as a Google Hangout and will feature some very special guests. The event is organized in collaboration with MAAM, a multicultural hub on the outskirts of Rome, established in an abandoned factory. Artists associated with the MAAM museum have created artworks especially for the OPTICKS performance. At the end of the show, the Moon-reflected images will be printed as postcards, mailed back to the original senders and exhibited at MAAM in May 2015.

OPTICKS Live event link: https://plus.google.com/events/c1knoduemccj3p0clqimafmrcu4