Light painting

Light painting

. This picture was made by using crystals to liberate the spectral colors in visible sunlight, refracting them directly onto a photographic plate, more than three hundred years after Isaac Newton used a prism, in 1672, to disperse sunlight into a spectrum of rainbow-like colors. The beautiful display shown in this picture was obtained in the rarefied atmosphere atop Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, where many of the world’s best telescopes are located. (Courtesy of Eric J. Pittman, Victoria, British Columbia.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University