Astrum Incendia Vulcanus Picture

Astrum Incendia Vulcanus (Star Fire of Vulcan)
©2011 Michael C. Turner ~ Galactic Visions Space Art

The Cosmos is filled with myriad cosmological phenomena. This scene reveals one such phenomena in a remote extra-solar system that many might consider as unbelievable or even "fantasy." Viewed from within the orbital plane of an inner planetary system, a white dwarf star/sun illuminates the celestial stage revealing a bizarre cosmological scene. Most notably, a degenerating rocky ring composed of the remnants of a former lunar companion, take front and center stage as they ignite internally from the friction and heat generated by the complex gravitational fields as well as the intense heat from the nearby white dwarf. The primary planet reveals multiple impact craters from the demise of former ring denizens. For scale, the largest "mini-moon" /rocky debris fragment is over 2,000 kilometers in length and is accompanied by a host of smaller mini-moons. This would qualify many of the remnants in a size class equal to or greater than the largest yet verified asteroids in the Sol-System. In fact, their overall appearance is very similar to asteroids and planetoids.

Update 06-29-11: In response to a query regarding this painting I am providing the following clarification:
(The Sol systems' identified asteroids" have not been found to have volcanoes or any other volcanic geological activity. In my painting, the ring fragments/ mini-moons / planetoids / asteroids or whatever term one might elect to call them dwarf the known asteroids yet discovered in Sol's system. The ones in my painting are essentially irregular shaped planetoids. What I wanted to depict was the effect the white dwarf, along with the gravitational effects from the primary planet would have on such colossal "asteroids." Essentially, these fragments retained the majority of their material upon the demise of their parent body which was actually a planetary companion to the now primary planet. Considering the aforementioned, these now ring fragments do have enough material to develop a molten core in the largest fragments. I simply took the liberty to create a "volcanic" visage amongst the heavily cratered surface.)

*In ancient mythology Vulcan (Roman) / Vulcanus (Latin) was the god of fire and was associated with all things connected with fire. He was associated with the Greek god of fire and smithery, Hephaestus. Vulcan was, therefore, considered the "blacksmith" of the gods and was attributed with supernatural abilities to forge weapons and tools of unimaginable strength and powers. The fires and forge of Vulcan were likened to the natural vulcanism and forging power of the Earth . Understandably, cults and worship centers emerged in ancient Rome and surrounding areas. Shrines, called Vulcanals, were dedicated to Vulcanus /Vulcan and an elaborate festival of worship called the Vulcanalia was held annually in the various Vulcanals (Vulcan Shrines). In many ways this mythological immortal was the inspiration for metallurgy in the mortal world and stimulated important advancements in related technologies.
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