KENT, Ohio – A Kent artist’s depiction of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is used on one of the latest postage stamps unveiled by the US Postal Service.
James Vaughn of Kent created a digital representation of the telescope orbiting against a starscape, combined with a photograph of a star and deep space that was taken by Webb to confirm the perfect alignment of its 18 mirror segments , according to a press release from the USPS.
Vaughn grew up near Akron and worked in the advertising and fashion industry in Chicago for 25 years before returning to Ohio, where he works from his own studio, specializing in aerospace illustration, according to biography on his website.
The illustration of the James Webb Telescope used on the postage stamp was also featured on the February 2016 cover of “Science” magazine. At the time, Vaughn described his art style as “adventurous and romantic”, particularly compared to the “precise, but soulless computer renderings” typically seen in industry publications.
“Because of my unique background and training; I am able to combine digital technology, classical painting and artistic aesthetics, to create images that please the heart as much as the mind,” Vaughn said in a 2016 LinkedIn blog post about the “Science” cover.
The telescope, launched on December 25, 2021, is the largest and most complex telescope ever deployed in space and is capable of peering directly into the early cosmos.
Vaughn’s illustration isn’t the only connection between northeast Ohio and the NASA project. Braze Solutions LLC in Solon, and the company’s director of research and development, Alex Greenspan, designed crucial cooling lines for the telescope, ensuring it can capture high-quality, long-exposure images of the cosmos. .
“Without this refrigeration unit, the images we are trying to detect in this early phase of its flight would not be possible,” Cleveland State University research astronomer Jay Reynolds said in December 2021, during of the launch of the telescope. “The colder the sensor. i.e. the longer they can expose the image, the better the image quality will be. So that’s a critical factor, and we have the northeast to thank. from Ohio for it.
RELATED: Solon Company Creates Key Components for James Webb Telescope
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