By Evan Ackerman
We’ve taken some totally sweet pictures of other galaxies, but it’s kinda hard to get a decent image of our own Milky Way… There’s just no good place to stand and point the camera. This 12cm glass cube contains a pint sized model of our home galaxy. It’s not just an abstract rendering; there are 80,000 individual points, representing the relative positions of 80,000 real stars, based on data from Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory.
According to Monty Python’s Galaxy Song, our galaxy contains a hundred billion stars, which is a far cry from the mere eighty thousand represented here. On the upside, this model will set you back 1 yen (just under a penny) per star, so if it was more accurate, you’d be paying upwards of a billion dollars instead of the $800 or so it actually costs. Oh, and before you start complaining that the galaxy is off center, this model is geocentric: Earth is in the middle. Yep, we’re kinda off in the middle of nowhere. Humbling, huh?