The Final Frontier: An Artist's Rendition
One of NASA's earliest and perhaps least-known programs enlisted not engineers and astronauts but artists. Since their first commissions in 1963, painters and illustrators have documented America's push beyond earth's atmosphere in hundreds of works, the dominant theme being, of course, magnificent men in shiny machines. In NASA & The Exploration of Space (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, $60), Roger D. Launius and Bertram Ulrich have assembled 175 of these pieces from NASA and National Air and Space Museum collections and, for the first time, published them for all to see. And what an eyeful. Although obviously limited in subject, the artworks display no cramping of styles, which range from the collage-cool of Robert Rauschenberg's Sky Garden (far right) to the sterile homeyness of Norman Rockwell's Astronaut on the Moon (upper left) and the epic-patriotism of Robert McCall's Splashdown.
"Penguins are 10 times older than humans and have been here for a very, very long time," said Daniel Ksepka, Ph.D., a North Carolina State University research assistant professor. Dr. Ksepka researches the evolution of penguins and how they came to inhabit the African continent.
Because penguins have been around for over 60 million years, their fossil record is extensive. Fossils that Dr. Ksepka and his colleagues have discovered provide clues about migration patterns and the diversity of penguin species.
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