By: Lanetra Bennett
September 18, 2013
Madison, FL - Local college instructors have found a very unique way to combine art and science.
It's a radio telescope. It's a work of art. It's both.
"This is a beautiful marriage of art and science together." Says, Mark Dickson, an adjunct instructor at North Florida Community College in Madison.
The art and science departments at NFCC have collaborated to create a functioning radio telescope displayed on an art sculpture.
The sculpture is about eleven feet tall and the radio telescope dish is seven feet wide.
The telescope will be used to teach science, physics, and astronomy and instructors say it can explore radio signals from the sun, the galactic center of the Milky Way, and cosmic background radiation.
Guenter Maresch, Ph.D., NFCC Physics & Astronomy Instructor, says, "We do labs to observe the sky and actually make images of the sky in the radio wave part of the spectrum."
The steel base of the telescope was designed by Tallahassee sculptor Mark Dickson.
He says, "This is a pretty exciting project to be a part of. It's kind of like one of those once-in-a-lifetime unique projects."
The project is the fifth installation of the Public Art Projects, which showcases works of art throughout campus to expose students to art.
Lisa Thompson, an NFCC Art Instructor, says, "It's important to be able to tap into that creative side of your brain. I think that art enables you to do that. It opens up possibilities in all sorts of fields."
The piece of art/science is displayed behind the science building.