Mercury Transit Music Video

A Mercury Transit Music Video from Solar Dynamics Observatory
Video Credit: NASA‘s Goddard Space Flight Center, Genna Duberstein; Music: Encompass by Mark PetrieExplanation: What’s that small black dot moving across the Sun? Mercury. Possibly the clearest view of Mercury crossing in front of the Sun earlier this week was from Earth orbit. The Solar Dynamics Observatory obtained an uninterrupted vista recording it not only in optical light but also in bands of ultraviolet light. Featured here is a composite movie of the crossing set to music. Although the event might prove successful scientifically for better determining components of Mercury’ ultra-thin atmosphere, the event surely proved successful culturally by involving people throughout the world in observing a rare astronomical phenomenon. Many spectacular images of this Mercury transit from around (and above) the globe are being proudly displayed.


Chip Thomas: ARTIST, Doctor, Activist

Chip Thomas

Artist, Doctor, Activist


May it be beautiful before me.  May it be beautiful behind me.  May it be beautiful below me.  May it be beautiful above me.  May it be beautiful all around me.  In beauty it is finished.  In beauty it is finished.


Lines from the Navajo Night Chant and prayer

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​Photo is Courtesy of Chip Thomas, All Rights Reserved

Speaking @ GCC on

Friday, March 25th

12 pm to 1:30pm in the Student Union

“His artwork is humble, peaceful, and full of life.

It has a spirit:  It’s alive and speaks to you, creating a connection.”

~Jerilyn Yazzie, GCC Student

Chip Thomas started working in a small community between the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley called Inscription House in 1987. He’d always been drawn to photography and built a darkroom shortly after arriving on the Navajo Nation. His passion photographically is shooting black and white in a documentary style inspired by people like Eugene Smith, Eugene Richards, Joseph Koudelka and others. Going out and spending time with people in their homes and family camps, Thomas has come to know his patients as friends, and found the visits enhanced doctor/patient relationships by helping him be a more empathetic health care practitioner.

Drawn to street art, graffiti and old school hip-hop, Chip was attracted to the energy of the culture in the 80s.  Though miles away from the epicenter, he thought of myself as a charter member of the Zulu Nation and would travel to New York City to see graffiti on trains, on buildings and in galleries.

A trip to Brasil in 2009 coincided with a difficult period in Chip’s life. Though not wasn’t looking for an epiphany, he was fortunate to stumble upon a passionate group of artists working on the street who befriended him. It was during this time that Chip began to appreciate how photography could be a street art form. Infatuated with the feeling he got being with the artists in Salvador do Bahia, he wanted to find a way to keep that vibe going and began pasting images along the roadsides of the Navajo reservation in June 2009.  Read more here.


To learn more about Chip Thomas’ story and journey 

through art, medicine and activism, 

come join us March 25th from 

12pm to 1:30pm in the Student Union.

Astronomy, Photography, Earth and Mars in Harmony

Take a journey with Steve Strom, astronomer and photographer based in Tucson, and his contrasting photos of Earth and Mars which are striking in their similarities.  The short film by Arizona Public Media was well worth five minutes of my time.  I’m impressed!

The Art and Science of Earth and Mars

Published on Nov 23, 2015 by Arizona Public Media (5.31 mins)

Earth and Mars were formed at the same time, 3.5 to 4 billion years ago. Yet cosmic forces left one wet and lush and the other dry and barren. Local astronomer and photographer Steve Strom has authored a book that invites readers to contemplate the differences and similarities of these two adjacent planets.

For more information about Steve Strom and his newly published book Sand Mirrors, click here:





Pei’s Photography is STEAM


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I recently discovered Pei Ketron and her photographs while browsing FB. When I stumbled upon her photos, I was intrigued and captivated. It was here that I finally understood and appreciated the art of photography. I was fascinated with understanding how easy it is to tie art in with science, it’s a paradigm of the interdisciplinary actions wedged into STEAM.

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In reading some of the other articles, interviews and blogs about Pei, I discovered she is connected to Arizona. Pei actually grew up in Tuba City, AZ; my hometown. Then it resonated with me that Mr. Ketron is her dad! Mr. Ketron was an art teacher at Tuba City High School. Mr. Ketron was one of the coolest teachers there, he connected on a different level with the students, and he is truly an educator. I was in his class, I can tell you, he was a tough grader…lol! I remember spending our lunches during the winter time by his classroom door. Students line up and down the hallway by his door to spend their lunch breaks with him (I was one of them), he would just hang out with us; have fun, be smart, be argumentative, be silly, be informative, etc. Mr. Ketron retired not too long after I graduated high school.

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As you can see, Pei’s photography screams simplicity, geometric shapes, patterns, symmetry, lines, and beauty. There is beauty in mundane spaces and unexpected spurts of vitality jump at you through the photos. I have never had that experience. And to be completely honest, I have since started looking at photography in a more enlightening process, I am evolving. 🙂

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Pei mentions in an interview that she grew interested in lines and vanishing points from reading one of her father’s books while growing up. Pei sees lines and symmetry in almost everything she targets for her next snapshot. When a snapshot looks symmetrical and aligned, that is when Pei finds relief in capturing the true essence of the moment through photos. I find the use of lines and symmetry fascinating and I believe it ties in with the principles of STEAM. What is even more amazing is that Pei uses mostly her phone when taking pictures.


Isn’t that incredible?! All this beauty comes from a small teensy camera with (“probably”) generic optics. Pei mentions that other professional photographers “diss” the concept of using a phone for photography. In a time of futuristic technology and innovative concepts, this is striking information. Pei continues to say that the people who tend to reject phone usage for photography are the older folks, people who have less knowledge of new technology. However, she did say, those folk are coming around trying to figure out this new genre of photography and sadly, because of time lost, they’re being passed on for employment opportunities. Enjoy Pei’s photos.


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Having evolved from her background as a public school teacher, Pei has taught has taught photography  classes privately and through companies such as Skillshare, Edelman, The Compelling Image, Creative Live, and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. In addition to her experience with DSLR and medium-format film photography, Pei is also an accomplished mobile photographer and has amassed a following of nearly a million users on Instagram. She has also helped to develop photography apps. Pei specializes in commercial, travel, and humanitarian work worldwide. Clients include: Adobe, American Express, Apple, All Nippon Airway, Bloomingdale’s, Canadian Tourism Commission, Discover Tasmania, Jordan Tourism Board, Mercedes, Michael Kors,, Pfizer, Save the Children, Square, Starwood Hotels, Tourism Whitsundays, Travel Alberta, Travel & Leisure Magazine, Turkish Airlines, and UNICEF  (

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