The night sky is a big bit of information to behold. But for thousands of years our species has understood the heavens through direct naked eye observations.
Urania, named after the Greek muse of Astronomy, is a delicate learning tool and a sturdy piece of urban art designed to aid in teaching children and adults a way of understanding the night sky.
From within LED illuminated metal arches an observer can have the night sky explained to them in relation to the cardinal points. Once a familiarity is established, anyone can leave Urania capable of finding the north star, planets, the path of the moon and sun throughout the year, and even larger ideas.
With Urania, the 18.6 year lunar cycle can be illustrated in relation to the extremes of the solstices on either side of the equinoxes. Even the 26,000 year precession of the equinoxes can be demonstrated from within Urania. The greatest part, however, is that no one standing within this piece will feel overwhelmed by this information, and she will dazzlingly reach out to them first by being a beautiful piece of art. The ideal location will be on the periphery of a major metropolitan area where stars are visible and the public can have easy access to it. We hope that by making the night sky knowable that we will encourage an interest in the sciences.
We at Distant Vantage Media Labs believe that everyone can grasp the fantastic context of human life in the cosmos. STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, are fields of study that must be encouraged in our society. By promoting the celestial frontier through physical observation, we hope to promote a generation who thirst for a learned relationship with the natural world. Encouraging the natural urge to understand the world is both healthy for individuals and STEM-related industries.
Currently, Urania is in the pre-planning phase of development. DVML is working on sourcing funds for this piece, constructing a scaled prototype, with the hope to complete construction by summer of 2014.