In a great example of just how powerful consumer cameras have become, watch as this Nikon P900 zooms into the night sky, transporting you from a parking lot in Quebec to the surface of the moon. According to DL Cade at PetaPixel, the built-in optical zoom maxes out at 83x but the camera is capable of continuing with digital zoom. “The P900 features 166x ‘Dynamic Fine Zoom,’ putting the final equivalent focal length at a mind-numbing 4000mm.” I don’t even know that that means exactly but it sounds like a whole lotta zoom. Video by Daniel Pelletier. (via Sploid, PetaPixel)
Mademoiselle Maurice (previously here and here) recently produced the mural “The Lunar Cycle” in collaboration with the French Mathgoth Gallerie, a temporary piece that pays tribute to the hundreds of residents who were temporarily uprooted due to the upcoming demolition of the building. Composed of 15,000 colorful origami birds, the piece forms the cycles of the moon against the dark background of the wall and covers over 21,000 square feet of space—making it the largest urban mural ever created in Paris. Each origami is painted after folding using a solution deemed “Maurigami” by Mademoiselle Maurice, making the pieces nearly indestructible. You can see more of her original origami-based murals on her Instagram and Facebook. (via Faith is Torment)
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.
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.
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)