Stellar Interiors

The inner layers of a star (red in the centre, orange and then yellow) made using a lace technique called tatting.
Royal Astronomical Society

Title: Stellar Interiors

Description: "The central star shows the three inner layers of a star. The red core is fusing together hydrogen (inner rings). The red picots are photons escaping the core out to the orange radiative layer. The many picots in the orange layer do not connect to the the next layer, representing how long it takes for photons to escape the radiative layer. The orange picots connect to the yellow convective layer, with its more complicated and looping design to represent the motion of the material in the layer, bringing material to the surface and allowing photons to escape. The yellow picots and ring at the top are the photons escaping into the photosphere."

Maker: Brianna Smart, Astronomy Research Associate

Techniques used: The central star is made using a lace technique called tatting. The surrounding stars are french knots.

Inspiration: "When I was looking at tatting designs and learning how to make them, I immediately was drawn to the possibility of making stars. The looping nature of some of the layers reminded me of convection zones inside stars, or prominences rising off the surfaces of the stars. I wanted to try my hand at making a creative version of the interiors of stars. If I had slight more room, or had used a smaller thread, I would have made more of them to show stars in different stages with different sized layers! I have always enjoyed artistic representations of scientific concepts, and thought tatting would be a good fit.

I joined the online sessions I was available for, and really enjoyed talking with everyone. It was so interesting to see all the different designs and talk with people from all over. It was a great help during lockdown and gave me a challenge. This was my first time really doing tatting, and I had never designed a quilt square before."