The team behind a new Kickstarter campaign isn’t the first bunch astronomy enthusiasts to create a detailed globe based on our nearest lunar neighbor. But using topographical data gathered by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, this Moon globe is the first to accurately recreate all of its craters, mountains, and valleys in 3D.
So just what do you get for a hefty $640 pledge to this campaign. More than just a porous beach ball. The 1/20 million-scale Moon comes mounted alongside a motorized ring of LEDs that orbits the globe like the sun, recreating its lunar phases as seen from the Earth.
As the LEDs orbit the globe, they also create moving shadows that help emphasize all of its topographical 3D details. And for nights when it’s too cloudy outside, when calibrated and positioned properly the Moon globe can give you an accurate view of how it actually looks in the night sky.
If you don’t have room on your desk for a lunar globe with LEDs swinging around it all day long, there are also sun-less versions available at $430 for a 6.8-inch replica, and $640 for a larger 11.8-inch version. But if you do pledge to help these become a reality, you’ll have to wait until November at the earliest, for your moon to arrive. Thankfully a peek out the window every night before bed should help tide you over.