On December 20th, 2013 the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015).
IYL2015 is a global initiative aimed at increasing people’s knowledge and awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and offer solutions to global challenges in fields such as energy, education, health and agriculture. What happens when a photon and a scientist collide? This is the opening question in this motion comic produced by our Studio, The Meaning of Light, presented for the first time at the launch of the European Space Agency’s GAIA mission on December 19, 2013.
A group of photons from a distant star propagates through the Universe and intercepts the Earth. Here, the photons come into contact with a team of researchers, who takes them back home. "The Meaning of Light" is an intriguing adventure in which the photons' escapades offer an opportunity to approach a number of key themes in Astrophysics, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (formulated exactly a century ago) and the beauty of the Universe.
The story and characters created are inspired by those who worked on the GAIA mission, and specifically the scientists of the DPAC. The Italian version now includes the musical theme “Singing the Stars”, the chorus of which (Oh be a fine girl/guy kiss me Little Thing, Yeah) adds to the famous sequence for memorising the star classification system (O-B-A-F-G-K-M) the most recently discovered new varieties of star, L-T-Y. The words refer to the key role of Light as a guide through galactic space/time.