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The Gaposchkin Chandelier - What Stars are Made of

Posted on: 03 Jul 2019

The Gaposchkin Chandelier - What Stars are Made of

The Gaposchkin Chandelier, by artist Emer O Boyle, was permanently installed at Cork’s newest art gallery in Tyndall National Institute and forms part of a wider exhibition that will celebrate Ireland’s contribution to science, highlighting Irish scientists, and the exciting careers and opportunities that STEM provides to students.

The Chandelier is inspired by Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin, who in 1925, discovered what stars are made of by observing the absorption lines in the spectrum of light they emit. Her profound discovery would change how we understand the physical universe forever...

Based on the spectrum of light from our nearest star, the Sun, The Gaposchkin Chandelier will be made with 603 test tubes each containing a symbolic absorption line. The absorption lines say 'I can see a gender equal society' and mark UCC's commitment to addressing gender representation in STEM. Through an increase in colour over time, it will reflect our progress towards having 50% female researcher representation across all levels, from PhDs right through to Professors. We are looking for 603 staff and students to add their signature to these absorption lines which will be stored in one of the test tubes and ultimately form part of the The Gaposchkin Chandelier.