Product designer Oscar Lhermitte has collaborated with design studio Kudu to produce a topographically accurate lunar globe that turns along with the phases of the moon. MOON exists at a 1:20 million scale and was created with data from NASA to reveal all of the moon’s craters in precise detail. As the round light or “sun,” rotates around the globe, dramatic shadows are cast across its surface.
With three settings, you can manually twist the moon to the position you desire, place it on demo mode to let you see all phases in 30 seconds, or switch it to live mode to have the piece synchronize with the current position of the moon itself. In addition to a physical similarity to the moon, the globe also has an intrinsic connection to it. MOON’s computer system has the exact same memory as the Apollo 11 computers that landed the first men on the earth-orbiting giant.
You can check out more about the project on MOON’s Kickstarter. (via Faith is Torment)
We’ve long been fans of the data-rich illustrations produced by Pop Chart Lab, and this new print is no exception. The Chart of Cosmic Exploration documents every exploratory endeavor into space spanning Luna 2 in 1959 to DSCOVR in 2015. The elegantly dense chart not only depicts the flight paths and orbits around planets, moons, comets, and asteroids, but also takes pains to illustrate some 100 exploratory instruments. The result is a shockingly clear overview of an immensely complex topic. The print is now available for preorder and begins shipping next week. (via Mental_Floss)
Update: The Chart of Cosmic Exploration is now available in the Colossal Shop.
Astronaut John L. Swigert, Jr., Apollo 13 Command Module Pilot, holds the “mailbox,” a makeshift device used to purge carbon dioxide from the Lunar Module that played a significant role in saving the doomed astronauts lives. Apollo 13 Hasselblad image from film magazine.
During the course of the Apollo space program astronauts were charged with enduring unknown perils, conducting science experiments, piloting spacecraft, walking on the surface of the moon, and comprehending sights, sounds, and physical stresses never before experienced by humans. All the while, they were also asked to snap a couple thousands photographs of practically every moment with a modified Hasselblad camera.
Last Friday, for the first time ever, NASA uploaded the entire catalogue of 8,400 Apollo mission photos to Flickr spanning Apollo 7 (the first manned test flight in 1968) through Apollo 17, the final lunar mission in 1972. The effort to bring the photos online was lead by Kipp Teague of the Project Apollo Archive who first began scanning camera film magazines on behalf of the Johnson Space Center in 2004.
While we’re all used to seeing the more iconic photos like Blue Marble, the Apollo 11 bootprint, or this image of Buzz Aldrin, this random assortment of mundane moments and blurry horizons seems to highlight the humanity of the entire endeavor. Collected here are a few of our favorite shots, and you can see thousands more organized by mission on Flickr. Digg and PetaPixel also have collections of their favorites.
Taiwanese design firm Acorn Studio recently announced a new lighting system that mimics the color and shape of a moon. Luna is a dimmable halogen light housed inside a glass fiber and non-toxic latex housing that comes in 7 different sizes ranging from 3.2″ to 23.6″ in diameter. Learn more over on Indiegogo. (via Laughing Squid, The Awesomer)
A Finnish photographer who goes by the name of Janne recently perfected a technique for shooting a “moon trail,” similar to long exposures you’ve probably seen of stars in the night sky. The photograph required over 37 minutes to shoot as the moon made its way slowly across the landscape. Michael Zhang from PetaPixel explains a bit of the technical details:
Janne was shooting with a Nikon D800 and 100-300mm lens at 300mm, f/8, and ISO 100. The trick behind the shot was a 10-stop neutral density filter, which greatly cut down the amount of light hitting the sensor and allowed Janne to shoot a 2258-second exposure.
You can see the moon trail a bit larger here, and see more of Janne’s photos from around Finland on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)
While standing in her backyard garden this morning around 9:20am in Leicestershire, UK, photographer Amy Shore snapped away at a perfectly clear view of a total solar eclipse with her Nikon D600. What she didn’t know until after the fact was that a lone bird was crossing the viewfinder at just the right moment. Via email Shore mentions that as a full-time photographer she normally shoots weddings, and the split-second decision to take this shot was a happy accident. It’s not immediately clear if there happened to be a weasel riding on the bird.
This eclipse was the first viewable over the UK in the social media age and photos, videos, and accounts like this have spread everywhere since this morning. The Guardian in particular had fantastic minute-to-minute coverage.
Update: Photographer Andrew Brooks got a similar shot in Manchester.