Holiday Shopping for Your Favorite Astronomer? Perhaps a 3-D Printout of Cosmic Stellar Death.
Last week, the Smithsonian released 3-D scans of 21 of its 137 million artifacts, from small to the impossibly massive — an orchid, a limestone Buddha, the Wright brothers’ plane … a supernova remnant. The models were built with methods including lasers, CT scans and photogrammetry via a sponsorship from Autodesk. Everyone is invited to explore them online and, when possible, 3-D print them. As you might imagine, this went over pretty well on Reddit — “We just printed and were able to hold an example of cosmic stellar death in our hands,” said the Smithsonian 3-D team in a Q&A on the site.