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Beyond our solar system: palmtop version

The Milky Way galaxy suspended in a glass cube

Introducing a new, smaller version of the ‘Beyond our solar system’ galaxy in a glass cube made with the aid of 80,000 pieces of star data.

(‘Beyond our solar system’ is a three-dimensional laser-etched rendering of stars in a cube of high-grade transparent optical glass, based on the latest data from Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory. The etching is performed in Japan. See information on the larger version for more detail.)
At 7cm rather than 12cm square this new cube is slightly smaller than the original ‘Beyond our solar system’. It is priced at 15,000 compared to 84,000 for the larger version.


The graphics on the box are laser-etched like the galaxy, rather than printed.
→Package design and production


A serial number is etched in one corner.

Open the box.


Inside you will find a loosely folded cloth. Underneath can be seen a new, updated booklet.


The cover shows a Hubble Ultra Deep Field image showing thousands of distant galaxies.


The compact 24-page guide contains information on galaxies readily available on the Web, with some additional material.
Above is a photo of the Milky Way shot by astral photographer Yutaka Iijima. ‘Beyond our solar system’ is an outside view of the Milky Way we see up in the sky.

Just like the larger version already available, this new smaller cube is laid out with our Sun and the Earth in the center, the data from the National Astronomical Observatory used to etch the cube is of the highest international standard, the use of glass rather than acrylic means the cube will not deteriorate over time, and the laser etching is performed by Japan’s most experienced professional in this area.

As might be expected, the rendering is not as precise as that of the larger version, but we’re sure you will find the impression of density and distance more than adequate.(A series of trials led us to conclude that a 5cm-square cube was not large enough, and simply ended up looking like a toy. Seven centimeters provides just the right balance overall.)
Viewed from directly above, the scan lines from the laser head are marginally more obvious than in the larger version.


The galaxy reclines slightly, due to it being laid put so the bottom surface of the cube and the solar system’s ecliptic are in parallel (a little extra touch for serious stargazers).

Here too is the immense space extending beyond our solar system, captured inside a small glass cube.
In its center is the sun, and alongside it somewhere, us.


Beyond our solar system – palmtop version
Three-dimensional rendering of the Milky Way galaxy

Glass cube: W70×D70×H70mm (about 100,000 light-year length)
Weight: 0.8kg
Cloth: Hymilon (nylon) 22cmΦ
Booklet: 24 pages W:11.8×H:11.8cm
Original data: Japan’s National Astronomical Observatory 4D2U project, Eiichiro Kokubo, Tsunehiko Kato (→Mitaka++)
Data design: Yukio Ando (exa)
Laser marking: L-Tec Inc

Price: 15,000 JPY

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All prices in Japanese yen.
Please use your favorite currency conversion website to check values in local currency.
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Living World Inc.
Fax: +81-3-6369-4720
For further information, please contact


‘Beyond our solar system’ is beautiful when backlit. The colors in natural light especially create a striking translucent effect. This is what the cube looks like on a window sill when viewed from a dark room.
*This photo shows the 12cm square version.

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