EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Exploring Comet 67P through art and science

Ekaterina Smirnova
Ekaterina Smirnova
  • Seattle, United States of America (

In November 2014 the Rosetta mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) sent a spacecraft to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The data published from the mission inspired me as an artist to create a set of artwork about 67P, including paintings, sculptures and musical collaborations. During this seven-year-long project, I collaborated with scientists from ESA and NASA. Acting as an interpreter from science to non-scientists I implement scientific data into my artwork. Allowing my work to be interactive via Augmented Reality (AR) I invite my viewers to study about the Rosetta mission via art. 

For the return of the comet in 2021 I have created two new paintings. This time I am starting a conversation about the origins of life on Earth, suggesting that comets perhaps played a big role. Colonies of bacteria grown in my art lab have become a part of my paintings.

During the EGU conference in 2022, I would like to display a series of large watermedia paintings. All of the paintings were created with special water that I generated to be close in composition to the water on the comet. 

Work sizes: 70”x52”; 90”x258” (largest piece, if the space allows).

A few of the works could be experienced with AR, instruction to which will be provided to viewers. AR is inspired by the spectroscopic data of an instrument onboard the spacecraft Rosetta. An image with a sound will be visible for viewers via their smart devices. 

If space allows, a music video could be displayed during the exhibition. This video was a collaboration project between myself, a clarinetist from Wales, a composer from Japan and a film editor from New York. This piece is inspired by the sonification of the magnetometry readings of the comet. 

A poster and a public talk can also be provided.

How to cite: Smirnova, E.: Exploring Comet 67P through art and science, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-717,, 2022.