Stars in Your Hand: A Guide to 3D Printing the Cosmos

Stars in Your Hand: A Guide to 3D Printing the Cosmos

by Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke
Stars in Your Hand: A Guide to 3D Printing the Cosmos

Stars in Your Hand: A Guide to 3D Printing the Cosmos

by Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke


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An illustrated guide to exploring the Universe in three dimensions.

Astronomers have made remarkable discoveries about our Universe, despite their reliance on the flat projection, or 2D view, the sky has offered them. But now, drawing on the vast stores of data available from telescopes and observatories on the ground and in space, astronomers are using 3D technology to go beyond a flattened view of the cosmos. In Stars in Your Hand, Kimberly Arcand and Megan Watzke offer an illustrated guide to exploring the Universe in three dimensions, with easy-to-follow instructions for creating models of stars and constellations using a 3D printer and 3D computer imaging.

Stars in Your Hand and 3D technology make learning about space an adventure. Intrigued by the stunning images from high-powered telescopes? Using this book, you can fly virtually through a 3D spacescape and hold models of cosmic objects in your hand. Arcand and Watzke outline advances in 3D technology, describe some amazing recent discoveries in astronomy, reacquaint us with the night sky, and provide brief biographies of the telescopes, probes, and rovers that are bringing us so much data. They then offer images and instructions for printing and visualizing stars, nebulae, supernovae, galaxies, and even black holes in 3D. The 3D Universe is a marvel, and Stars in Your Hand serves as a unique and thrilling portal to discovery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262544153
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 09/20/2022
Pages: 136
Sales rank: 1,142,517
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Kimberly Arcand is Visualization Scientist and Emerging Technology Lead at the Chandra X-ray Center, the headquarters for a NASA space-based telescope at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Megan Watzke is the press officer for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, a NASA space-based telescope that is the sister mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. She helped create the “public science” model that brings scientific content into everyday spaces, such as public parks, subway stations, and libraries. She and Kim Arcand have co-authored five non-fiction books.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 Collecting Light 5

3 How We See the Universe in 3D 11

4 Putting the 3D Universe to Use 19

5 Getting Oriented 25

6 The Explorers in 3D: Telescopes, Probes, and Rovers 33

7 The Solar System 53

8 Much More than Twinkling: Stars 71

9 Going Beyond: Galaxies, Black Holes, and More 87

10 Looking Forward (and Through) in the 3D Universe 103

Acknowledgments 107

Glossary 109

Figure Credits 115

Index 119

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Arcand and Watzke deftly and accessibly show how mere 2D images are transformed into 3D models of objects, from planets to nebulae to galaxies and more. It makes me embarrassed that I don't own a 3D printer myself!"
—Dr. Ethan Siegel, writer of the blog, Starts With A Bang, and author of Beyond the Galaxy and Treknology
"This book provides needed motivation for creating 3D models required for tactile learners of astronomy, including at schools and organizations for the blind."
—Ana Marie Larson, Teaching Professor Emerita​, University of Washington​
“I still smile when I think about the “3D” stamped-cardboard Apollo lander I built as a kid— imagine how 3D printed spacecraft and astronomical objects will inspire today’s astro-curious!?”
—Alyssa Goodman, Robert Wheeler Willson Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University &  Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution

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