Astronomy can blow your mind, in a good way!
“Galactic Glow” which debuted on the top floor of Riverside Arts Center last weekend is an attempt to convey the mind-blowing reality of how big space really is. For instance, our local Milky Way Galaxy is a mind-stretching, impossibly-huge swirl of 200 billion stars. These stars are huge-  just like our sun, and slowly coasting around their common gravitational center. Each star in a galaxy is likely to have its own group of planets.  The glowing fuzzy multitude of stars on the far side of our home galaxy can be seen without using a telescope; this Milky Way glow stretches across the entire night sky.  There are billions of other galaxies like our Milky Way galaxy. Our best deep view image from Hubble telescope shows many full-sized galactic swirls- just like our Milky Way galaxy, between any two stars you might see in the night sky!
My Galactic Glow experience is a dynamic glowing model of our home galaxy with water pumped into a swirl by the efforts of a user working a pedal-powered electrical generator.  The water gently coasts around my big wok for a long time and swirls with glowing dust that shines brightly when exposed to ultraviolet lights. The UV lights are powered by another person working their own electric generator. Each of the 200 Billion stars swirling in our Milky Way galaxy is represented by a single speck of dust glowing in the wok.
Check out a video of “Galactic Glow” in action HERE