Accurate 3D Lunar Globe Brings Home the Dark Side of the Moon
Science and design come together to create MOON, the “first topographically accurate lunar globe," according to lead designer Oscar Lhermitte. The globe displays the current lunar phase at any given time by utilizing a halo light that orbits around it. Lhermitte and London-based design studio, Kudu collaborated using NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is a robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon. The data collected by the Orbiter is considered essential to planning future human and robotic missions to the moon as its mapping program produces 3D maps of the moon’s surface, allowing NASA to identify landing sites and resources, among other vital functions.
MOON is a highly accurate 3D 1/20 million replica of the Moon, featuring, “all the craters, elevation, and ridges.” The ring of LED lights that revolves around the globe illuminates the correct face of the moon, while recreating lunar phases as humans would view it from Earth. What makes it unique, explains Lhermitte, is, “the combination of the 3D terrain with a light source…by projecting the light onto the Moon, all the craters, ridges, and elevations are brought into relief by their shadows.” Additionally, the technology allows people to see the side not visible from earth, something the vast majority of people will never be able to experience in reality. The Kickstarter was fully funded and raised £145,393 as of May 13. It’s available for preorder now, and the team will be working to determine an exact delivery schedule over the next few weeks.