Paul Malone : Orrery S4716

'Orrery S4716' (detail) Installation with aluminium trackway, polystyrene, bespoke engines and tanker wagons. 350 x 200 x 240 cms
About the Artwork

This installation is a model for the latest idea I am working on within my '00 Scale' series. It is an electric orrery and ,as such, describes astronomical phenomena in terms of electro-dynamics and the charge field.

At the Centre of our Milky Way galaxy is a mysterious object called Sagittarius A* West, around which orbit a cluster of stars with high orbital velocities. The fastest of these is a star called ‘S4716’ after which the installation is named.

Displayed in the tanker wagons is a sequence of infra-red images that locate the changes in position of this star as it orbits the galactic core. In the spirit of Bayesian dialectic I have included its anti-star rotating in the opposite direction and with inverted colour.

The accepted theory of why the stars in this cluster are orbiting so fast is through the gravitational influence of a black hole. However, in this instance and, as we are within an electro-dynamic theoretical environment, we have to search for a more relevant explanation.

Drawing from Astronaut Don Petit’s experiment on the International Space Station; using a changed knitting needle and drops of water from a syringe, we can see that orbits (including fast ones!) can be generated electro-magnetically.

According to General Relativity a black hole can only exist in an asymptotically flat* universe. Therefore there can never be more than one in any universe and certainly one generated from a big bang.

Hidden on the 'legs' of the orrery (and attached to the wood knots) are the names of nebula that can be found in the vicinity of this phenomenon.

*tending towards flatness

Click to view installation movie          | Click to view onboard movie


                Full view of the installation (click to expand)

Images of the Installation (photos) (click to enlarge)

Engines (click to enlarge)

Structure (click to enlarge)

Wagons (click to enlarge)

General (click to enlarge)