Deborah Bay found galaxies in bulletproof glass. The Houston-based photographer took pictures of bullet-proof Plexiglas from a police officer training school, after officers fired various bullets into it. At a rough glance, they look like stars, galaxies, and nebulae. Appropriately, Bay’s collection is titled “The Big Bang” after the cosmic explosion theorized to be the start of the universe.
“The idea for the project developed after I saw a small display of projectiles that had been fired into bullet-proof Plexiglas (a demonstration of its effectiveness for personal safety),” Bay tells Popular Science. “The metal shards and trajectory lines demonstrated the huge amount of energy released when the bullets were blasted into hard plastic.” The compositions are as beautiful as they are menacing. Gazing upon all those abstract cracks and wandering crevices, you can’t help but think of how horrific they’d look in human flesh.
Bay’s work can be found in the Cosmos exhibition at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, through March 2, 2014. More images from this fantastic series can be found at the photographers’ own site.
Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.