Depending on how well you know me, you may be aware of my obsession with space and the universe. My favourite film is The Right Stuff and I’ve always wanted to name my firstborn Andromeda Cassiopeia (sorry, Ben). I have a small moon nightlight in my office, drinking glasses painted with each planet in our solar system, and a slew of books on my shelf discussing everything from Yuri Gagarin to black holes. The Apollo missions, where man first landed on the moon, are among my favourite. When I saw MOON live on Kickstarter, I knew I had to write a blog about it to spread the word.
Made using NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter topographic data and 3D printing technology, MOON is the most accurate lunar globe as it showcases the earth’s only natural satellite in stunning detail. MOON was designed by Oskar Lhermitte and Kudu Studio to bridge the gap between science and art.
Unlike other models of our moon with photographs, MOON is a truly accurate replica, complete with all the craters, elevation, and ridges, in a tangible 1/20 million scaled size. Made with polyurethane resin, aluminum, and powdered steel, MOON sits on top of its base and is outfitted with a rotating ring of LED lights. These lights simulate the sun and revolve around the replica to recreate all of the lunar phases that we see from Earth as well as the infamous dark side of the moon, known as the far side, in brilliant detail.
Showcasing the moon in all its glory, MOON also has three modes for lighting. In manual mode, you can select the lunar phase you’d like illuminated by turning the dials on the base. Demo mode gives you a complete synodic month, allowing you to see 29 days’ worth of phases, in just 30 seconds. Because the replica is 3D, the passing LED lights create an incredibly realistic view of the moon’s surface.
But, the most interesting mode for MOON is live mode. With this, MOON and the LED lights will move in real time with precision to show exactly what the moon looks like outside of your window. Rotating slowly, live mode takes all 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 2.88 seconds to complete so you can enjoy the synodic month right in your home.
You can choose to purchase the 1/20 million scaled lunar globe, measuring 6.8 inches in diameter, with the sun LED lighting system for £500 or without for £300. A 1/11.5 million scaled lunar globe is also available without the LEDs for £450 and it measures 11.8 inches in diameter.
Live on Kickstarter until May 13th, you can reserve your own for the prices above or support the campaign with a variety of other donation amounts. With £50 you can get a lunar calendar with photo diagrams of the phases and £20 will get you a random sample piece of MOON. Regardless of the size, your donations will help make MOON a reality. With over £80k raised for their £25k goal, I can’t wait to get my own.