This machine reveals moon phases based on inputted dates

Atmel | Bits & Pieces


A Maker duo has devised a project that lets moon phases become both tangible and poetic. 

Created by Makers Yingjie Bei and Yifan Hu at NYU’s ITP Program, Moon Phases is an interactive installation that lets users see a corresponding moon phase (from the northern hemisphere’s perspective) by inputting a specific date.

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“The idea started from my very first processing sketch which is a 2D drawing for moon phases. From there, I started to expand and approach it from different perspective. The moon phases machine is the ultimate work through out the whole journey,” Bei writes.

Inspired by the structure of Orrery — which is a mechanical model of the solar system that predicts the relative positions and motions of planets — the project allows viewers to experience the changing of moon phases in a tangible and poetic way. Stories about the moon are simultaneously displayed through its built-in screen.

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How it works is relatively simple. A date is selected using three knobs, each…

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