It’s up to you whether your regard this lunar globe as lighting, an ornament or a scientific experiment. Whichever way, it’s charming and intriguing. Handmade in east London and designed by art college-trained engineers, it was in the shops at MoMA New York and Tokyo soon after launch – it’s that unusual.
The globe is a scientifically accurate one 20-millionth replica of the moon, and the electronically controlled revolving circle of LED lights that represents the sun ensures you can see how the moon waxes and wanes. The onboard computer, the designers tell me, has the power of Apollo 11’s electronics – then again, a singing birthday card has almost as much number-crunching grunt as the good ship Eagle had. It also has an algorithm that allows you to run the device three ways, from a 30-second sweep of a month’s moon phase, to manual control to running in real time to show the current phase. On the sample I tried, there was a slightly disappointing moulding line separating the two halves, but it barely mattered. It’s a superb thing.