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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: Space & Science Nail Art

Here’s how to put all of the wonders of the Universe at the tips of your fingers. Literally!

“Once I knew only darkness and stillness… my life was without past or future… but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.” -Helen Keller

Some of us hide our feelings and passions away in our inner world, where only we can experience it, but others among us like to flaunt it for all the world to see. Why shouldn’t we, after all, share our joys, our knowledge and our sense of wonder and adventure with others who might find the same inspirations we do? Have a listen, this weekend, to the sounds of Laura Marling — who does exactly that — with her song Cross Your Fingers.

But what about those of us who are inspired most by science, or by the most human of all adventures: by travel to and explorations of the wonders of the Universe beyond our planet?

There’s no reason you can’t take it with you, everywhere you go.

Image credit: Scientista Foundation / Cosmetic Proof, via

At the tips of your fingers, or rather on the tips of your fingers!

There are some amazingly creative efforts out there to display whatever it is you’re passionate about, such as some amazing, very carefully hand-painted designs atop a well-planned background.

Image credit: Galaxy Nails via the Nailasaurus, at

In fact, some of these techniques are way simpler than you’d ever imagine, simply involving the use of sponging and an unintuitive combination of colors to create a fabulous “galaxy” effect.

Images credit: Rie, Cristina and Sammy Tremlin, via Nailasaurus at

If you’re more of a biology person, there are plenty of creative options out there, too, including an electrocardiogram beating heart readout (courtesy of our very own contributor, Summer Ash),

Image credit: Summer Ash, retrieved from Maia Weinstock on Pinterest.

to some simply amazing X-ray nails (tutorial here) if you get your hands on some tattoo paper,

Image credit: Nailgasm, via

or if you’re a math (or mathematical physics) person, the options are endless, limited only by the size of the equations or equation terms you can fit on your nails!

Images credit: Break Rules Not Nails, via (L), and Jessica from @nailedtothej on Instagram, via (R).

But for me? Personally, I’m mesmerized by all the creativity surrounding ventures in outer space. This includes spaceflight and solar system exploration and all sorts of techniques, including nail decals for the non-DIY types out there:

Image credit: B + C Co., via

A very beautiful and creative tribute to Mars Curiosity’s second anniversary of its landing on the red planet’s surface (with “JPL” spelled out in Morse Code on the thumb):

Image credit: Kristen Fredriksen of Pinterest, via

The ultimate hand-painted tribute to Charles Messier — even with a broken nail — by Kristen Fredriksen again:

Image credit: Kristin Fredriksen, via

And — one more from her — I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Kristen (@neskirderf on Twitter) simply wins space nail art for me.

Because what beats a space montage from the launchpad to an ISS resupply to NASA’s Maven making it to Mars?

Image credit: Kristin Fredriksen.

(Nothing, the answer is nothing.)

I hope you enjoyed this amazing tour through the Universe on the tip of a finger, and maybe even found a little inspiration and joy from it. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more wonders of the (actual) Universe!

Leave your comments at the Starts With A Bang forum on Scienceblogs, and for more science-filled goodness, check out our Comments of the Week!


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