A Chemist Explores Astronomy

Max (Chemistry) recently completed an astronomy project, a laser-cut wall hanging display of the night sky. I had the chance to help with some early prototyping for the project, and we first set out to just get a sense of how light would interact with acrylic. We created a ruler of sorts, with different holes of known size…

Max's Star Projector

…and took it into a dark room with a flashlight for testing…


Max used In-The-Sky.org Planetarium to generate a star map of the sky in a particular location on a particular date at a particular time, and then exported that map as an SVG file for post processing in Illustrator to generate the cut file needed by the laser. He cut the map out of opaque black acrylic, and we got back in the Clean Lab to try it out.

Prototyping a Star Map



Here’s the finished product, housed and ready to hang:

Star Map

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