Wowzers: Zero Gravity LED Light Toy Makes Trippy Space Art

By Nick Venable | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

spiral topOf all the myriad reasons why no one is letting me go into space right now, there are two battling it out for first place. The first: I’m not and never have been trained to be an astronaut. The second: Instead of doing anything like “missions” or “smart things,” I would probably spend all my time figuring out what it feels like getting trashed in space, and no one would want to be my friend. And these reasons existed before I ever even knew that the ridiculously amazing Spiral Top device existed. As you can imagine after looking at the picture above, I’m going to have to make a very specific type of amendment to that second reason.

Developed a few years ago by artist Takuro Osaka, the Spiral Top is a device that spins a set of mounted LEDs affixed to it. I have no idea what it looks like when it isn’t floating around in space, but I don’t really need to, since I’ve seen it floating around in space.

The Spiral Top was taken up to the International Space Station and its progress was photographed and tweeted by JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, the first Japanese commander of the ISS. He’s also one of the first to make me realize that there are still worthwhile pictures to be taken from inside the craft, rather than just photographing the magnificence of space happening all around them. Because seriously, I’ll figure out a way to reverse gravity inside my house if I can make the Spiral Top do shit like this. Here is one of Wakata’s tweets with the Top in action, followed by one of the device in its inactive state, looking all boring and not as if it could flabbergast me in seconds.

And now here are a couple more shots from Osaka’s own website, proving the near limitless potential this thing has.

spiral top

spiral top

And because you’ve all been such good listeners during today’s light show, here is Wakata’s shot of a tomato floating in space. It doesn’t have the same cinematic appeal as a bone turning into a spaceship, but the actual ramifications of it are far more important.

tomato in iss