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SSAI’s Amin Dezfuli’s Art Goes to Space

April 03, 2022 Employee Spotlights, SSAI in the News

Dr. Amin Dezfuli, a Lead Research Scientist supporting the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) Monitoring and Validation group at NASA Goddard, spends his working hours studying climate change and the causes and impacts of extreme events, mainly over the Middle East and Africa. Using in situ and satellite-based observations as well as climate models, Amin addresses questions of fundamental and applied climatology and water resources for these regions. (Check out this hot off the press commentary on Amin’s work on the front page of Nature Middle East:

In his spare time, however, Amin enjoys turning his science into art, creating illustrations of various weather events and climate phenomena.

“Convective Stroller” shows a negative/positive vertical shear associated with an easterly jet and cold pool resulting from a mature convective cell – features often seen in West African monsoon systems.
Amin’s reflections on his artwork and the need to allow our minds to rest from our often rigorous work – in his case, scientific programming and data analysis – were featured in a 2020 edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS): Climate-inspired drawing: How I enjoy amateur art – Well worth the read!

And now Amin’s amateur artwork has made it to space! Two of his drawings – Miss Dena, the Atmospheric River” and “Mr Hadley Cell” were selected by Planet Labs, as part of their “Art in Space” program, and etched onto one of the SuperDove satellites launched on January 13 aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 Transporter-2 SSO.

“Miss Dena, the Atmospheric River” features subtropical and midlatitude jets as her legs, clouds for eyes and mouth and precipitation as hair, and the low and high paired as two arms.
“Mr Hadley Cell” incorporates the equatorial convective cells, rainfall, and soil wetness, as well as the meridional circulation and westerly jets.
Amin’s art, now orbiting us in space, is a wonderful reminder to slow down and look for the art and beauty in the work we are doing. And who knows, your drawings might make it to space like Amin one day, too!

Interested in learning more about Planet Labs’ “ Art in Space” program? Visit: