Imagine a time of no time and no space—a time before time began. In that abyss of nothingness the Big Bang occurred, a moment of singularity when the cosmos was born: a brilliant, millimeter-sized ball of light expanding in a flash, instantaneously transformed into the vastness of the universe. 

New images from space renew our sense of awe as we push back through billions of years of time, through the heavenly primordial soup to the earliest stars. Inspired by visions of time traveling through space, the images in “The Big Bang” hint at these cosmological regions and encourage viewers to wander among unknown galaxies, speculating on their genesis.

As suggested by their titles, these images were created by shooting projectiles into bullet-proof plexiglas, a big bang of another sort. Law enforcement professionals at the Public Safety Institute at Houston Community College fired the shots into the plexiglas, and the photographic images were made later in the studio.

Big bangs, large and small. 

—Deborah Bay