Creative Coding: Muons, Muons, Muons – A Star Catcher

Making the invisible, visible, this is a generative design project taking local data with a cosmic ray detector to find muons falling to Earth from the exploded stars of distant galaxies – about one every second.

 

The output is the effect of muon count and the intermittence of the separate captures which create fluctuations in size, speed and colour.

 

Designed to instil the same reverie and presence when one is caught in the gaze of stars, this piece proves a relaxing and evocative journey into the cosmic activity happening in our local environment.

 

You can use a simulator version without the radiation detector, here: https://tomhagan777.github.io/Muons-Muons-Muons/

 

And you can read more about building your own muon detector here: http://www.cosmicwatch.lns.mit.edu/

 

(p.s –> this is designed for larger landscape displays and proves suboptimum for phone – just a heads-up)

Personally, I just like to leave it with all the controls off and hidden away using the down arrow on the keyboard, and setting the browser in fullscreen mode – that’s when it’s at its most contemplative and introspective.

 

In the end, compared with other popular generative art, it is a slow and quiet generation. It’s peaceful and leaving the system running just watching the generation perhaps can help us find peace amongst our thoughts.

 

Stargazing has been a recreation as old as humans have been able to look up, but today, we find ourselves mostly looking down. Whether it’s on our phones, avoiding eye contact (which seems normal in London today), and for many urban dwellers, there’s little point when only a handful of stars are visible enough to compete with our 24-hour cityscapes. Nevertheless, when we find ourselves locked in a gaze of stars, they gaze into us and there’s a gentle stirring of insignificance, an insight of how small we all really are in the great scheme of things, and in that, comes a unity, that in spite of our ‘very important opinions’, our goals, dreams and misfortunes, here we are, all in this together, showered with the residue of past stars from distant galaxies long since swept away into nothing — as one day we too shall also.