Click play to hear Epica's soundtrack for this post...
As Molesworth and any other fule kno, space is really big. So big that any light we see from distant stars has been travelling a very long time. So when you look at the night sky and spy a cluster of stars, you're seeing a galaxy far, far away as it was a long time ago. And we all know what that means - lasers, spaceships, jedi, evil empires, pewpewpewpew!
There's a particularly beautiful swirl of stars that fall within what sailors and airmen in the northern hemisphere have often used for navigation called the "summer triangle" and looks like this when snapped by Hubble:
|The brightest stars are between 16 and 35,000 light years away. I reckon 35,000 years counts as a long time ago. Perhaps if we all look really carefully....|
I knew when I saw this picture on an image search that it was perfect as the setting for my Star Wars: X-wing battles so I cropped and tweaked the contrast and then had it printed as a 3 foot by 3 foot poster on PVC (no seams, no eyelets) for a mere £15.05 delivered from the very helpful chaps and chapesses at Print Android It arrived today!
Here it is, straight out of the box and plonked on the staff room table when no-one was around to look askance at my geekiness:
It has a nice surface texture. Not so smooth that I expect ships to slide around, but not so rough that it's unpleasant. It laid really flat after a simple roll against the folds and I'm delighted with it, even though it hasn't seen action yet. It's exactly 3 by 3 (so 91.4mm in each direction), by the way. If I ever need another mat or want a larger one then I'll be back to Print Android in a shot. An excellent product.
In a rather satisfying piece of serendipity, the core set I ordered for myself (I have a another set coming as a birthday gift from my parents at the end of the month) also arrived today.
|Shiny shiny shiny - still in its shrink wrap!|
Do you know what, though? So as not to diminish the enjoyment of my requested gift ("What do you want for your birthday, son?" "Well, there's this nifty looking Star Wars game..."), I'm going to leave the box sealed and the mat rolled up until after I've opened the box from them!!!
I mustn't give in to temptation, for that way leads to the Dark Side. And chronic asthma, of course.