Unleash Your Stories – Yourong Wang

11/10/2018

The night sky can be a great source of inspiration to all, and to third year physics student Yourong Wang, this has certainly been the case for him. Using equipment and materials from the Create and Maker Space, he has created a night sky projector, which he calls the “Starbox 101”.

Yourong was inspired to make the night sky projector by the Zeiss star projector in the planetarium at Griffiths Observatory when he was on exchange to UC Berkeley recently, as well as a call to a good friend that is also a physics major. Through these experiences plus his astronomy knowledge, he wanted to be able to shrink the planetarium he saw into a model for personal use that would still be an accurate projection of the night sky.

Although Yourong had a vision of how the dome should work, he had no idea where to start in terms of making it. Using the Create and Maker Space, its workshops and the help of the friendly Creative Technologists there, he was able to put his vision onto paper and into a working model.

Firstly, he attended a Fusion 360 Workshop to pick up the skills of using CAD software, which helped Yourong convert his astronomical data to CAD sketches for his construction plans. He used the 3D printer to print out the dome, which he sanded down, and soldered electronics on using the soldering machine. He also fitted in a few LED lights and implemented a USB-micro B power source. Yourong states that through this process, “many of the skills I have now developed are due to the patience and guidance of all the Creative Technologists that I have worked with”.

Yourong is quite satisfied with the end result and has learnt a lot of skills throughout this process. Now that he knows how to build domes easily at Unleash Space, he has come up with a lot of ways to expand upon his original concept. This includes a solar system model (instead of stars), incorporating clusters, nebulae, galaxies and planets into his model, and showcasing different colours for stars of different temperatures and ages. Even if he does not yet know how to implement some of these ideas, testing and trying out new things – just like he did for his original night sky projector – will surely help him reach for the stars!

Check out Yourong’s blog here to find out more about how he made the Starbox 101.

Unleash Space will be closing for the year on Saturday 20 October, so if you want to make your own creative projects like Yourong has, come in quick to gain access to the Create and Maker Space or book an equipment training so you can get started!