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May 10, 2016

MOON: A Lunar Mood Light Based Upon NASA Data

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The moon has long inspired designers around the globe as muse, the latest being, MOON, a collaborative creation between designer Oscar Lhermitte and London-based design studio, Kudu.

Using data sourced from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the light matches in exact 3D 1/20 million scale detail the real heavenly body in miniature facsimile, including the topographic craters, elevation, and ridges of the moon. But the lunar model itself is only half of the equation. A ring of LED lights revolves around the moon model, casting light upon the correct face of the moon, in essence recreating the lunar phases as seen from Earth.

MOON operates in 3 different modes:
Manual mode: Rotate the sun light yourself and set the lunar phase that you would like to see.
Demo mode: Observe a complete synodic month in just 30 seconds.
Live mode: Experience the actual lunar phase happening at a given moment. Stay in this mode and observe the globe changing phases in rhythm with the actual Moon in the sky. One full rotation (Lunar synodic month) will take approximately 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.80 seconds.

The combination of the 3D terrain with a light source is what makes it unique. By projecting the light onto the Moon, all the craters, ridges and elevations are brought into relief by their shadows. This recreates the lunar features as we see them from Earth. MOON is currently a Kickstarter, already far exceeding the designer’s pledge goals, but still accepting project support until May 13th.

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