You’ve probably noticed that at Gadgette, we’re big fans of anything that involves science, space, or astronomy. It will come as no surprise, then, if we told you that given a choice in interior decoration, we would absolutely opt for a lunar globe over a globe of the Earth.
The thing is, though lunar globes exist generally they’re not all that accurate since they use 2D photographs and illustrations which makes them more artistically, rather than scientifically, valuable; really you’d be better off just looking out of your window if you wanted to learn anything. A new project called MOON, however, is promising “the most accurate” 3D lunar globe possible. It’s safe to say they have our attention.
Rather than using illustrations or photographs, the creators of MOON have used NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter topographic data combined with electronic and mechanical engineering to create a 3-dimensional, topographically accurate lunar globe.
MOON has been moulded to accurately feature all the craters, ridges, and valleys on the moon’s surface at a 1:20-million scale. On the globe’s base there’s an arm which holds a ring of LED lights. Those lights mimic the light of the sun, moving around the globe to recreate the lunar phases as we see them from Earth. MOON’s creators say it’s this combination of a light source and the 3D terrain that makes their globe unique:
By projecting the light onto the Moon, all the craters, ridges and elevations are brought into relief by their shadows. This recreates the lunar features as we see them from Earth.
Users will be able to choose from 3 modes when using MOON: manual mode, where you can select the lunar phase you’d like to see; demo mode, where you can see an entire month’s lunar cycle in under 30 seconds; or there’s live mode, which uses an internal digital clock to allow you to watch the progress of an actual lunar rotation, with one full rotation taking approximately 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.80 seconds.
MOON is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The team are looking to raise £25,000 to ship their product in November/December 2016. At time of writing, they’re well on their way to achieving this goal having raised £21,361 with 29 days left to go. Pledges to make MOON happen start from as little as £1, but if you want a lunar globe of your own it’ll cost you £300. It should be noted that with this pledge you don’t get the LED lights to mimic the sun, you’ll have to pay £500 for that, which is £200 off the astonishing planned final retail price of £700.
MOON is definitely not cheap, but my gosh is it pretty. We might just have to stick to mooning over it.