Tag: astronomy

150 BC – Greek Orrery

An orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system. The left image shows the Antikythera, the oldest known orrery. The middle image shows a virtual reconstruction. The right image shows a contemporary orrery. The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analog computer designed to predict astronomical positions and eclipses. It was recovered in 1900–01 from the Antikythera wreck, a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera. The instrument was designed and constructed by Greek scientists […]

Added by: Melanie Bacou & Pierre Dragicevic. Category: Physical model  Tags: astronomy, greece, mechanical interaction, physical computation, pragmatic, science, time


2002 – Bathsheba Grossman's Crystal Engravings

Artist Bathsheba Grossman has been 3D printing mathematical surfaces as early as 1997. In 2002 she started to use subsurface laser engraving to produce 3D physical visualizations of data from astronomy, biology, and physics. Left image: a piece of DNA molecule. Right image: a 3D map of our nearby stars. The artist explains to us: This medium excels at imaging less structural data such as disconnected volumes, non-compact point clouds, and the convoluted strands of proteins. It works by […]

Added by: Pierre Dragicevic & Bathsheba Grossman. Category: Passive physical visualization  Tags: 3d printing, astronomy, biology, digital fabrication, math, physics, science, subsurface laser engraving


2015 – Solid Model of Stellar Winds

Scientists keep using solid models to help them better understand complex 3D data (here, an astrophysical simulation): They say this provides even more insight into what’s going on. “The ability to hold and inspect the 3-D printed models provides a new perspective on the WWIR’s geometry and an improved sense of the scale of the different structures,” they say. In particular, they say the model allows them to appreciate just how large the shockwave is compared to the stars and the distance […]

Added by: Pierre Dragicevic, sent by: Jean-Daniel Fekete. Category: Physical model  Tags: 3d printing, astronomy, digital fabrication, science, simulation


2017 – Gravity Wave Spectrogram - LIGO

Humanity has been gazing at light from distant stars since time immemorial. But in 2015, our ability to understand the University achieved a major milestone, when ripples in Spacetime itself - instead of light - told the tale of an ancient, cataclysmic collision between black holes. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is an experimental system of almost unbelievable sensitivity. Using interferometer arms four kilometers long, it can detect changes in length as […]

Added by: Louis R. Nemzer. Category: Passive physical visualization  Tags: astronomy, Gravity Waves, physics, science