The solar eclipse that is making its way across the United States on August 21, 2017 is a big event. Astronomers, professional and amateur alike, have been planning for this event for years. Small towns across the country that are in the path of the total solar eclipse are sold out of hotel rooms and expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors for this unique event. Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip for the occasion or watching it from your own backyard, we’ve rounded up the best resources to prepare you for the spectacle. Enjoy!
On July 15th, Buzz Aldrin, astronaut and second person to walk on the moon, hosted the third annual fundraising gala for his non-profit foundation, ShareSpace, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. MOVA International had the opportunity to donate 50 of our Mars MOVA Globes as centerpieces for the event. The globes were signed by Buzz and auctioned off to raise funding for space education. The gala raised over $200,000 for the foundation. We were honored to be a part of this special day.
We sat down with Jarred Donkersley, Celestron’s Assistant Marketing Manager, to discuss how anyone can get started with stargazing, why astronomy is important,and his favorite space missions.
Celestron has been in business for over 50 years. How did it get started?
It all started when Tom Johnson, our founder, discovered an inexpensive way to mass produce the corrector plate of the schmidt-cassegrain telescope, making wide, short tube designs affordable for amateur astronomers. Since then there have been countless innovations, but we’ve always stayed true to our roots and dedicated to the hobby and our customers.
How should stargazing newbies get started? Give us a Stargazing 101.
We continue our conversation with Jarred Donkersley, Celestron’s Assistant Marketing Manager, to discuss how Celestron brings people together through community events, a wide array of products, and a dedication to teach people about our planet. Read part one of our interview to get a stargazing lesson.
What’s the best part about working at Celestron? What makes Celestron unique?
Celestron occupies a unique position at the forefront of a relatively small industry. Because of this we enjoy opportunities to work with all sorts of individuals and organizations. The National Park Service, The International Dark-Sky Association, Stephen Hawking, Phil Plait, John Davis, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, NASA, Bill Nye and The Planetary Society, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan of the Cosmos TV show, Kristie Reddick and The Bug Chicks, and that’s just some of the more well-known personalities. At least once a month some exciting new project gets tossed in our lap.
Add to that the fact that we have some really experienced and loyal staff that have either been in the industry or at Celestron for 15, 25, 35 years or longer and you get a sense of how deep this hobby runs for our team. Some folks at Celestron are the world experts at their particular trade or area of expertise. There’s never a dull moment.
Dick Termes was the first artist we worked with to bring a new type of design to life with our MOVA Globes. With our latest collaboration we get a more personal artwork with the Black Hills Termesphere, a design inspired by Dick’s hometown and surrounding areas. He talks to us about how the Black Hills shaped his life and his art, and gives us some background on his unique and interesting Termesphere Gallery.
MOVA: Let’s start by telling us how long you’ve lived in the Black Hills area of South Dakota and why you love calling it your home.
Dick Termes: I’ve lived there 74 years, basically. My folks lived here and then they were sent to California for Dad to work in the ship yards during the war. I was born in California at that time. The Black Hills have always been where I do my best work. There have been lots of opportunities to relocate to either coast over the years, but Spearfish and Black Hills are just a special place and a constant inspiration.
Tell us how the Black Hills inspired you and your art.
Many of my paintings have used images from the Black Hills but mainly I just feel comfortable here and my creative side works well when I am relaxed.
MOVA Globes were dreamed up by physicist Bill French in the 1990s. He brought in a former colleague, now MOVA International CEO, Shaw Lin, and a company was formed to bring the solar-powered motion technology to life in a home décor product. We sat down with Bill and Shaw to learn more about the early years, the learning process of starting a business, and their dreams for future MOVA Creations.
What was your inspiration behind the MOVA Globe?
Bill French: I saw a top spinning and realized I could make a top that would spin when exposed to light. Later I was just challenging myself to somehow make a magical floating version of the earth. I was thinking I could somehow do it magnetically. It would be cool. About that time I saw a “floating eyeball” type of gizmo. I just allowed all of these things to come together in my head at the same time. I am always looking for some new possibility.
What does getting a degree in geography actually entail? According to Stacie Townsend, a PhD candidate in the Geography Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis, it’s a lot more varied and diverse than most people think. Stacie discusses how geography can be used to explain everything from trends in public transportation to the fictional town of Hill Valley from the Back to the Future movie trilogy. And while she clarifies that geography isn’t always about maps, we still get her to share her favorite types of maps with us and tell us why she thinks maps are so important to understanding our place in the world.
You’re currently working on your PhD in Geography — when did your love of geography start?
I’ve been in love with geography since I was a little kid! The ‘geography facts’ worksheets that we would get in our weekly homework packets in elementary school were always the first ones I reached for. I couldn’t wait to open up our family atlas and find the answers, and then get lost looking over all the maps and information about all the countries of the world.
Back in 2013, Alexander Hayes, a scientist on the Cassini Mission to Saturn, reached out to us about making a MOVA Globe version on one of Saturn’s moons, Titan, as a gift to his graduate school advisors. What started as a unique gift turned into one of our most intriguing and different MOVA Globe designs. We wanted to let Mr. Hayes answer the most common questions we get asked about this fascinating celestial body.
Just as our understanding of our universe continues to expand, so too does our MOVA Space line of products. As we’ve added celestial objects other than planets to our collection, we’ve received lots of questions about our Vesta MOVA Globe. So we went straight to the source to get you answers. We spoke to Dr. Marc D Rayman, Chief Engineer/Mission Director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who originally reached out to us and gave us the image of Vesta you can see on our MOVA Globe today. Read on to learn more about this fascinating asteroid, the Dawn mission, and what exactly all the colors on the Vesta image mean.
We spoke once again with renowned map collector David Rumsey. He told us more about the details and history behind our newest MOVA Globe, Cassini Celestial. We also discussed some of the first maps he collected as well as what he’s currently hunting for to add to his collection.
About the Cassini Celestial Globe
MOVA: What is unique about the depiction of the constellations on the Cassini Celestial globe?
David Rumsey: Partly the art. So beautiful the way he’s [Giovanni Maria Cassini] drawn them and colored them. The way this globe works is similar to most globes made at the time. Gods eye view. As if God was outside the whole universe and looking back in and seeing it as a globe. When you look at the Celestial globe you are seeing constellations in reverse from the way you would from the center of the earth. Telescopes from the area show things in reverse. When this globe was put into Google Sky in 2008 they had to reverse it and they were amazed that star positions were amazingly correct. Allowing for the change in time from 1790 to today and the procession of the sky because of the way the Earth rotates, the sky actually shifts. They know how much it shifted between 1792 and today and things lined up perfectly. He definitely had very good information and what was known of the other celestial knowledge of the time.
The Termesphere MOVA Globes have a special place in the MOVA collection. Dick Termes – the creative mind behind the Termesphere designs – is the first artist we collaborated with to expand the creative potential of our MOVA Creations. Inspired by the works of M.C. Escher and Buckminster Fuller, Dick develops striking multi-dimensional worlds that challenge the way we see our surroundings while taking us headfirst into another world. With an ambitious vision, diverse collection of artwork, and international acclaim to boot, there’s no question why we were drawn to the work of this compelling American Artist. Just in time for American Artist Appreciation Month, we sat down with Dick to talk about his inspirations, his thoughts on our collaboration, and his upcoming projects.
Bill French is the creative and scientific mind behind MOVA Globes. His idea for the MOVA Globe took years to go from initial concept to final product but the inventor bug had gripped him long before that. Bill sat down with us to discuss how his upbringing led him to become an inventor, what that title means to him, and his inspiration for MOVA Globes.
We collaborated with artist Wendy Gold on the all-new Butterfly MOVA Globe. Wendy launched her company, ImagineNations™, in 2010 and has seen great success making one-of-a-kind decoupage globe designs and gaining popularity with people looking for creative upcycled items. When we first saw her amazing decoupage artwork, we knew it would be the perfect addition to our MOVArt line. We asked Wendy to tell us more about her design inspirations and how she started making her beautiful artwork.
We’re excited to once again be working with artist Dick Termes to bring his amazing Termespheres® and unique artwork to life as MOVA Globes. We need your help to determine which of his brilliant designs should join our collection next. Please complete this quick survey and tell us which artwork you’d love to see rotating in a store near you.
This is a guest post from San Diego Architect Kevin Bussett.
I attended this year’s Dwell on Design as MOVA International’s Official Architectural Liaison (my request to be MOVA Style Ambassador was denied). As an architect, Dwell subscriber, mid-century fan, and amateur gardener, I took notice of several outstanding products this weekend including the Leggy Stands by Potted, the Boxcar Succulent Planter Set by Revolution Design House and Feltware’s playful and bright clocks, bowls, and coasters made from heavyweight felt and warm hardwood.
While there were many interesting products to view at Dwell on Design, there were a few products at this year’s show that embodied the spirit of Modernism. Modernism is not just a style characterized by clean lines, clever touches, and a minimalist aesthetic–it’s also a mindset that seeks out new materials and fabrication methods and allows that process of experimentation to create surprising, delightful products. Some of the standouts are old designs that remain fresh and relevant fifty years later, some are new products that pay homage to old techniques, and some aren’t designs at all but rather materials waiting to be explored by future designers.