Nasa's 3D-Printed Replica is a Perfect Scale Model of a Nebula

By: Laura McQuarrie - Jul 15, 2014
References: nasa.gov & technabob
Due to long distances and extreme heat, you'll probably never get to hold a real star in your hands, but you can come pretty close with NASA's 3D-printed replica of the Homunculus nebula star cloud.

NASA put together it 3D model of the nebula using data that was collected in 2012 by the massive equipment the European Southern Observatory. From there, the data was transformed with a program called Shape. As well as being pretty novel, the model actually helped scientists to better understand the origin of the nebula and allowed them to create a high-res model of the nebula's expansion.

Astrophysicist Theodore Gull notes that "Now anyone with access to a 3-D printer can produce their own version of this incredible object," which is available to download through NASA.