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Experience Sunrise on the Dark Side of the Moon With This Detailed Lunar Globe

Illustration for article titled Experience Sunrise on the Dark Side of the Moon With This Detailed Lunar Globe

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.

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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.

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Illustration for article titled Experience Sunrise on the Dark Side of the Moon With This Detailed Lunar Globe

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.

Illustration for article titled Experience Sunrise on the Dark Side of the Moon With This Detailed Lunar Globe

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.

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[Kickstarter - Moon via Wired]

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DISCUSSION

gravitas
Very Little Gravitas Indeed

For all the talk of accuracy and detail, I wonder at the design choice of a huge LED ring. While the sun isn’t a point source, it’s certainly a far smaller light source than that ring.

Back of the envelop math.. That ring light is about as large as the moon, and positioned about a lunar diameter from the moon. That would make it’s angular size from the lunar surface about 53° - should be 31°.

Minor nitpick, sure. But they go on to talk about how it’s the most accurate globe ever and that it could accurately simulate the moon’s appearance in our sky... Well the lighting is a big part of that.

OK, soapbox done.