#189 Space & Time

Re-engineered Webb Telescope becomes first ampersand in space

A picture is worth a thousand worlds.”

I didn’t say that; Google did. On July 13, 2022, I saw this Google Doo­dle & imme­di­ate­ly clicked on it, for­get­ting what­ev­er it was that I was googling. I rec­og­nized the gold hexag­o­nal mir­rors & knew it had some­thing to do with the James Webb Space Tele­scope. Wow — it was announc­ing the first images sent to earth by JWST! Google’s phrase “a pic­ture is worth a thou­sand worlds” is a very clever pun, so I used it to blast off Amper­Art #189, Space & Time. The very first image sent, that of deep space, was used as the back­ground in my lat­est piece. Here’s the Google Doo­dle — click on it to see its amus­ing ani­ma­tion & read about its cre­ative development.

Google Doodle celebrating first images from Webb Telescope
Click the Google Doo­dle to see the ani­ma­tion & read about the artwork.

Have you heard of the James Webb Space Telescope? 

Ear­li­er this week I met a new friend who has been in tech­nol­o­gy through­out his career. I told him how excit­ed I was about the first images of space & time from the new tele­scope, expect­ing him to share in the excite­ment. Instead, he asked “You mean Hub­ble?” He was not even aware of the James Webb Space Tele­scope, Hub­ble’s suc­ces­sor. (He has since told me he Googled it, and said “it’s all over the news!” Yes it is.) 

I was amazed that some­one in tech­nol­o­gy had not heard of this tech­no­log­i­cal won­der. That alert­ed me to real­ize maybe not every­one has heard about the JWST — or oth­er inno­va­tions, for that mat­ter — even if it would be of inter­est to them. So I was com­pelled to add this video to intro­duce those of you (espe­cial­ly if you wit­nessed the first moon land­ing in 1969 on your black & white tubes) who have not heard of this suc­ces­sor to the Hub­ble tele­scope, which is mag­nif­i­cent in its own right & still in ser­vice. You just might be as awed as the rest of us are by the James Webb Space Tele­scope — espe­cial­ly after you see the spec­tac­u­lar first images that were revealed July 12, 2022.

This excel­lent video by Fras­er Cain at uni​ver​se​to​day​.com will explain & entertain:

(If the video does not appear, play it on YouTube.)

For those who pre­fer to read, there’s a good entry about JWST at Wikipedia.

Vis­it the web­sites list­ed below (includ­ing NASA​.org) for more infor­ma­tion about the James Webb Space Telescope.

Space is hard to comprehend…

I have been fol­low­ing the jour­ney of the James Webb Space Tele­scope since it was first launched on Decem­ber 25, 2021. For some rea­son I just feel a deep pride in this ven­ture & I’m thrilled at every task it suc­ceeds in func­tion­ing even bet­ter than expect­ed. It seems like a mir­a­cle that noth­ing has gone wrong when there is so much that could have. Even the traf­fic acci­dent (appar­ent­ly they hap­pen in out­er space, too) of a micro mete­or dent­ing the mir­ror last month was planned ahead & com­pen­sat­ed for. 

It’s hard to com­pre­hend how vast space is & what’s real­ly out there, but…

Planetary Nebula NGC 3132, one of first images from Webb Telescope

…time is even harder

It is beyond my com­pre­hen­sion that what I am look­ing at in these first images from the James Webb Space Tele­scope is from space & time 13 bil­lion years ago. I tru­ly can­not com­pre­hend that! I will just set­tle for admir­ing a spec­tac­u­lar image achieved through the vision & tech­nol­o­gy of bril­liant humans on earth.

The above image, Plan­e­tary Neb­u­la NGC 3132, aka South­ern Ring Neb­u­la, is cap­tured by JWST in dying star’s final moments (albeit very long moments). More fas­ci­na­tion about NGC 3132 here.

AA #189 features Galaxy Cluster SMACS 0723

James Webb Telescope first image: Galaxy Cluster SMACS 0723

This has been one of my favorite Amper­Art cre­ations to date. I am thrilled to design a piece that cel­e­brates the suc­cess — per­form­ing flaw­less­ly & far exceed­ing its expec­ta­tions — of this mar­vel of tech­nol­o­gy, which I have been fol­low­ing since its launch on Decem­ber 25, 2021. 

Not only does this Amper­Art #189 Space & Time back­ground fea­ture the very first image (at right or below) released by the James Webb Space Tele­scope, but the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the tele­scope’s gold mir­rors made for a sim­ple task of cre­at­ing the amper­sand by just mov­ing a few mir­rors around. (The amper­sand tele­scope turned out kin­da cute, don’t you think?)

The image above is the deep­est & sharpest infrared image of the dis­tant uni­verse to date. Known as Webb’s First Deep Field, this image of galaxy clus­ter SMACS 0723 is over­flow­ing with detail. You can see a larg­er ver­sion & read all the details on the NASA web­site. Here are some highlights:

✴ The image above shows the galaxy clus­ter SMACS 0723 as it appeared 4.6 bil­lion years ago. 

✴ This deep field, tak­en by Webb’s Near-​Infrared Cam­era (NIR­Cam), is made from images at dif­fer­ent wave­lengths, total­ing 12.5 hours

✴ Thou­sands of galax­ies – includ­ing the faintest objects ever observed in the infrared – have appeared in Webb’s view for the first time.

Now this should real­ly send your mind to infin­i­ty & beyond:

✴ This slice of the vast uni­verse — every­thing you see in the image above — is approx­i­mate­ly the size of a grain of rice held at arm’s length by some­one on the ground.

Alien lifeforms

I’m sure if JWST ever finds a colony of intel­li­gent beings out there, they will all be naked. & hap­py. Maybe that’s what it will take to enlight­en us earth­lings to final­ly strip away our prud­ish, igno­rant, sense­less cen­sor­ship against our own bod­ies. After all, as my favorite bumper stick­er says: 

There’s plen­ty of space & time for a bil­lion words or less, so please…

Explore the James Webb Space Telescope & Mission & Images

NASA James Webb Space Telescope mission

First images from Webb Space Telescope

The ultimate guide to the James Webb Space Telescope

Other “webbsites” about the Webb Telescope

Production notes for #189 Space &Time:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Programs: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
Font: Tall Films

Ampersand: custom by Chaz DeSimone, based on JWST mirror array

Background image: NASA & deposit​pho​tos​.com (enhanced)
“A picture is worth a thousand worlds.” quote from Google​.com
Text about the JWST from Wikipedia​.org
Video: Fraser Cain, uni​ver​se​to​day​.com
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.

Visit DesimoneDesign.com

Chaz DeS­i­mone, design­er & typog­ra­ph­er, is the cre­ator of Amper­Art & own­er of Des­i­mone Design. He was adding ser­ifs to let­ters when he was just a lit­tle brat scrib­bling on walls. Now he’s a big brat & his entire career is design, so long as each project requires the most sophis­ti­cat­ed, log­i­cal, cap­ti­vat­ing results. Con­tact him at chaz@​desimonedesign.​com.

Thank you for sub­scrib­ing to Chaz’s per­son­al design project, Amper­Art. Please invite your friends — those who are fans of the fun & fab­u­lous amper­sand — to sub­scribe at amper​art​.com.

chaz sez...
rants & raves by Chaz Desimone, otherwise known as Chaz the Spaz
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Rants & raves mostly about design, sometimes about the universe.
An occasional bit of useful advice.
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#100 Milestones & Goals

100 Milestones & Goals

 #100 Milestones & Goals
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
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We did it! We hit the 100 mark! 

Thanks to you, amper­sand fan & loy­al sub­scriber, Amper­Art #100, Mile­stones & Goals, is the one-​hundredth issue of an Amper­Art poster, for which my goal has been one per month since this project began in June, 2011. 

I have issued, with­out fail, one Amper­Art piece per month (even if it meant stretch­ing the month to the last hour in a remote time zone that had­n’t yet reached mid­night, such as Bak­er Island & How­land Island, tiny out­ly­ing islands of the US).

Until now.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Iron­i­cal­ly, I missed the dead­line on this mile­stone achieve­ment, the one-​hundredth cre­ation of Amper­Art, Mile­stones & Goals. This was to be issued dur­ing April, 2017. It nev­er made it. 

Why? Because I could not come up with an appro­pri­ate title for the theme of “one hun­dred.” Should be easy, right? A big, impor­tant num­ber like that?

On the oth­er hand, I’ve had #101 in the works for months. That one’s easy: black spots all over a white back­ground, allud­ing to one of my favorite movies of all time, espe­cial­ly for the snap­py pencil-​drawn styl­ized effect — and the first to use the Xerox process for ani­ma­tion which gave it that dis­tinc­tive style.

Isn’t 100 supposed to be an important number?

A title for #101 is easy. But #100? I fig­ured there would have been a sur­plus of phras­es, idioms, themes, ideas that allude to the num­ber 100. But Google was prac­ti­cal­ly dry. There’s the 100th Anniver­sary stone, the dia­mond. And the anniver­sary col­or, pur­ple (not my favorite col­or; can’t use that). There are plen­ty of news sto­ries about 100k marathons. But noth­ing all that sig­nif­i­cant about the num­ber 100 itself. I thought & thought & thought, but just could not come up with anything. 

April 30, 2017 came & went, and the string of one Amper­Art per month was bro­ken. Fran­ti­cal­ly, I tried to think of oth­er titles to cel­e­brate the 100th issue: Grin & Bear It, Dead­lines & Quo­tas (that would­n’t do — I missed the dead­line), Day Late & Dol­lar Short, Slow & Steady, Con­grat­u­late & Celebrate…on & on. 

Final­ly, I had to rely on the philoso­phies of Live & Let Live as well as Patience & Deter­mi­na­tion; just let it go until I come up with the appro­pri­ate title. I’ll issue two pieces in May.

Finally, a milestone

Yes­ter­day I hit on the word “mile­stone” and real­ized that would make a nice title. Not about the num­ber 100, but about an impor­tant mile­stone. So, what to pair that up with? Mile­stones & Achieve­ments? Mile­stones & Dead­lines? (After all, it was each month­ly dead­line that kept me on track to achieve this mile­stone, even though in the course of most projects & busi­ness teach­ings it’s the mile­stones that lead to meet­ing the deadline.)

I had Mile­stones & Dead­lines all set to go, when I came across the phrase “goals & mile­stones.” That sounds sweet­er to most peo­ple than “dead­lines.” And it’s real­ly what I am try­ing to accom­plish: my goal is to keep churn­ing out one Amper­Art per month (okay, on aver­age) until I’m dead. So, I guess “dead­line” would be mean­ing­ful after­all, but I chose to rewrite the title as “Mile­stones & Goals.” (Goals & Mile­stones makes more sense, but it sounds weird & looks weird­er.) Final­ly, here’s the April 2017 Amper­Art, #100 Mile­stones & Goals…in May.

Our little secret

I feel defeat­ed about miss­ing the dead­line on such a mile­stone piece, and I hate to be dis­hon­est. So here’s the deal: You, my dear Amper­Fans, are privy to the truth. But between you & me, no one else has to know that I blew it. It’s just eas­i­er to con­tin­ue boast­ing “I’ve issued one edi­tion per month since the very first” than con­fess­ing “I’ve issued one edi­tion per month since the very first except I missed the dead­line for the one-​hundredth which was such a mile­stone piece I feel like a worth­less piece of crap.” Or maybe I’ll just admit I’m human. We’ll see how it goes.

 Please comment here.

Why I love Photoshop

Review­ing sev­er­al pho­tos for Mile­stones & Goals, I was focused on some sort of rock or boulder…until I saw this beau­ti­ful old wood post to which was attached a mod­ern sign, against a gor­geous back­ground. The blue of the sign is my favorite col­or blue, a cross between cyan, cerulean, turquoise & my all-​time favorite, Cray­ola Blue-​Green. So that one got down­loaded (and paid for, by the way). I guess it’s also sig­nif­i­cant that I chose this image to rep­re­sent Mile­stones & Goals, as I used to own a sign com­pa­ny. That busi­ness was a mile­stone to where I am today.

I did­n’t care for the dull­ness of the sign­post, being it was back­lit. Pho­to­shop to the res­cue. Here’s the before & after. I toned down the back­ground blue haze just slight­ly, but real­ly brought up the light on the post & sign:

Original photo
After retouching














You are prob­a­bly crit­i­ciz­ing the lousy “pho­to­shop­ping” on the edges of the sign, right? Quite obvi­ous that it was plas­tered on top of the orig­i­nal image, cor­rect? Well, I thought so too — that the pho­tog­ra­ph­er did a half-​assed job of copy & paste (no, it was­n’t me). Guess what, though — it’s the actu­al pho­to. Upon enlarg­ing (see below) I dis­cov­ered the sign is a piece of sheet met­al to which a decal is past­ed. With the slight bor­der of the met­al show­ing around the decal, it sure does look like a crude retouch­ing job. But no, it’s real. (Click to enlarge.)

Clever one-piece sign

The final deadline.

Now that we’ve achieved this mile­stone of Amper­Art #100, it’s onto #101, #102, and so on, cre­at­ing a new piece each & every month (maybe with a lit­tle time shift­ing here & there) for the rest of my life…the final deadline.

 Please comment here.

chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & raving.

Production notes for #100 Milestones & Goals:
Original size: 12x18 inches

Programs: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Bank Gothic, Ebrima
Ampersand: Ebrima
Kilometer Pole Photo: © Afhunta | Dream​stime​.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!