Exoplanets Have Never Looked More Beautiful

Feb 08, 2017 at 10:44 AM ET

NASA has confirmed the existence of 3,447 planets beyond our solar system; each one with it’s own landscape, atmosphere, and size. Even with the most powerful telescopes, only 1.3 percent of the over 3,000 known exoplanets are visible to astronomers.

In a new series, photographer Adam Makarenko is dreaming up what he thinks these distant worlds look like. Every planet is hand-crafted from plaster or Styrofoam at his home studio in Toronto.

“I’m exploring the ideas of the unknown,” Makarenko told Vocativ. “A lot of them are based on the research that’s out there.”

Makarenko’s goal is to create and photograph 1,000 exoplanet models, each one different than the last. The most exotic of the bunch will be presented in a book dated for future release. For now, his Instagram hosts the majority of his artistic work.

“By the time I reach a thousand planets it’s going to have evolved quite a bit,” Makarenko said. “I haven’t reached the most bizarre creation yet.”