Photon Mine

Hugh Fathers

Dorrigo, Australia

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Artist's Description

Left overs . . . The only remaining traces of some massive Intergalactic war . . .
. . .
So sensitive that any mass approaching closer than 1 light minute moves enough atoms of matter in the near vacuum of space to trigger them off.
The resulting explosion floods an area of space 10 light minutes in diameter with catastrophic amounts of radiation in every wavelength of the magnetic spectrum. So intense, that matter within that 10 light minute sphere, is completely vaporised.
Seeming to be far more prominent in the outer arms in the Sagittarius sector, it has been suggested that some kind of threat must have come from that direction.
This begs the questions . . .
What happened to them?
Are they still there?
Are they planning on coming back?
Other than the mines themselves, which are next to impossible to analyse, there are no remains, anywhere in the Galaxy today, of the race that designed and built them.
It has only been quite recent that we even knew of their existence.
All previous encounters, may explain the disappearance, without any trace, of a number of Service, trade and private vessels in that sector.
It was only by the barest chance they were discovered at all.
Highly unusually, two vessels were transiting the same area of space at the same time. The trader ship ‘Good Prospects’ and a Service DSS vessel (Deep Space Survey) the ‘Niven-Pournelle’.
Due to the rarity of such deep space encounters, the ‘Niven-Pournelle’ was training all of her vast array, of sensors on the ‘Good Prospects’ for the transit, when a photon mine was triggered.
Nearly all of the Niven-Pournelle’s sensors were burnt out within milliseconds of first detection but luckily she was far enough outside of the 10 light minute sphere as to not sustain irreparable damage.
Those brief milliseconds before the various sensors blew told the whole story and analysis of that data, not only told us what they were, but to also how to develop, after a number of unsuccessful attempts, a Photon mine detection system.
Some spacers still take the risk, but those who ply their trade in the outer reaches of the Sagittarius sector are well advised to spend the necessary credits and install the system.

. . .
Created in Bryce . . .
No post work . . .
This is Mk III . . .
Starting point . . .
Cylinder with cone attached to each end. Render in Ruby
Replicated and rotated to form a structure of points 45 deg in every direction.
Surround centre with perfect sphere rendered in mirror.
12 omnidirectional lights are placed next to the mirror sphere between the ruby spikes.
Surrounded again in sphere rendered in diamond leaving nothing but the ruby points exposed. Surrounding and touching the ruby points are multiple rings rendered in diamond.
Background plain black. No sun. No atmosphere.
Only light in the scene comes from inside the photon mine . . .
Render time approximately 84 hours . . .
. . .
A Closer Look . . .

. . .
It was worth the wait . . .

Artwork Comments

  • MarianaEwa
  • Hugh Fathers
  • walstraasart
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  • Mike Oxley
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  • Maria  Komprath
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  • Alexander Butler
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  • Julia Styles
  • Hugh Fathers
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