The Universe Sphere - The Milky Way in a Sphere

Created by Clemens & Christoph - CinkS labs

We are the founder of "The Universe Sphere" - a growing collection of beautiful desk ornaments containing parts of our Universe.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The last packages were shipped...
6 days ago – Thu, Dec 13, 2018 at 01:01:20 AM

Finally, all packages are sent and should arrive this year.

Ok, to be precise, not all packages. But all regular packages and the few replaces for defective goods have been sent. We want to thank you for your patience! We know, a delay of 5 months is huge but we hope, in the end, it was worth the waiting.

43 backers did not fill out their surveys on Backerkit until today. We send reminders every week, so take a look in your spam folder, if you missed our emails.

37 backers did this and filled out their survey within the past 2 weeks. These packages will be sent now.

Hooray! We also got 491 preorders within the past months and we start shipping these right after the 37 late birds. 

Thank you for your support, we hope you will also participate in our recently running campaign
The Star Constellations in a Sphere and a Game

Best regards and Merry Christmas,
CinkS labs, Christoph and Clemens

Ludi Incipiant, Let The Games Begin...
about 1 month ago – Thu, Nov 08, 2018 at 12:16:00 AM

The Campaign Is Finished, Verified by Kickstarter and, Next to Some Minor Changes, Ready for Its Launch On...

Friday 9th Nov at 18:00 CET(Ger) / 12:00 EST(US)
and will run until my birthday on 
Friday 9th Jan at 18:00 CET(Ger) / 12:00 EST(US)

But, to be very honest, I am struggling to set a price for the Startets and would love to hear your comments. Please be as sincere as possible. For sure, most of you would love to get it as cheap as possible, I would for sure, but I want you to see, that there also was and is a lot of work in the game. It contains a minimum of 88 unique cards and a booklet, so we struggle between 10€ earlybird/15€ regular or 15€ early bird/ 20€ regular. 

Do you think this is a fair deal?

Second question:

To make it a little more simple, we want to bundle every Sphere with an LED Baseplate, because only a few dozens of people bought a sphere without the base and some reordered them.
The price for the Baseplate would stay at 10€ and the Sphere´s at 59€ in regular, so it is 69€ then. Do you think this is legit or will lead to dissatisfaction and the question, if this is an out of season April fools joke (I guess, not everyone will get the reference, but that´s ok ^^)? 

Last but not least, I would be very happy, if you support the campaign right at the beginning, so it will get a nice big impact and we will be shown as a team favorite. To make this even more attractive, we added some Early birds.

EARLy Birds...phew such a bad pun...
EARLy Birds...phew such a bad pun...

Thank you in advance for your honesty,
Have fun with the new campaign.
Best regards, 

Our laser is working again...
about 2 months ago – Sat, Nov 03, 2018 at 01:43:04 AM

We have some good news for you. Our laser is working, which means that the production is in full swing again. We expect the first 400 spheres at the beginning of next week and then we can start shipping them at the end of next week. 

We hope that we can send out all missing packages within the next two weeks and then we can start shipping the preorders and complaints. 

As soon as we receive the tracking codes for the packages, we will put them on BackerKit. Please note that if you have ordered more than one sphere, you will most likely receive two packages. 

We are very sorry that you have to wait for such a long time. We learn from our mistakes and we will do better next time!

Also some good news, Clemens is currently in the last preparations for the new campaign, so we hope we can validate it through Kickstarter within the next days and launch it within the next week. We will announce it one day before the launch, so you can go for the early birds.

warmest regards,
Clemens & Team

A Di(e)Ode for the Laser
3 months ago – Fri, Oct 05, 2018 at 01:12:13 AM

No Blood and No Bone, the Diode Though Gone, It Must Be Repaired, a Delay Is Declared.

Bad news everyone, ok not everyone, but those who still wait for their goods. After 9 years of good work, the laser diode of the machine that was used for our spheres died. Such a diode costs around 24.000€, which is not a huge problem because it was predictable, but that is the reason, why there is no other diode somewhere in the locker. On Monday we will know, whether the diode can be repaired or needs to be changed. Either way, this will need 4-5 weeks until the production can continue as usual.

When I heard this, I instantly booked a ticket for the train for the next day, went the 400km to the production facility and together, we set the settings for the other laser, so we can continue the production. Unfortunately, the laser is different, so we can only laser 7 spheres in one run. Of cause, the facility also has other customers, that shared the laser, so we can´t occupy the laser the whole time. We calculated with around 250 Spheres a week, maybe more.  A new diode means an upgrade in the quality of the lasered dots, so this is a welcome surprise, especially for the star constellations in a sphere. 

The production of the Pocket Milky Ways continues, so we thought we might send one for free for all of you waiting, but that would mean 500x10€ (of cause a little less for us, but still missing sales). So we decided to send each of the last 200 backers a  PMW.

We also worked on the big Sphere, but it is more complex than expected. We want to try a completely new solution because nothing works really satisfying, but the recent try looked awesome. You see a clear filling paste, that we need to get rid of reflections because of the curvature of the sphere. When we pulled off the adapter it looked like a forest.

We are very sorry for the delay and hope, nobody gets too sad, mad or angry about the extension of your waiting time. I´m also a little sorry for the bad poem at the beginning, but I laughed way too hard about the Die-Ode pun, that I could not withstand.
Have a nice weekend,
Clemens & CinkS labs

The Game and the Sphere, the Star Constellations Are Near.
3 months ago – Thu, Sep 06, 2018 at 01:26:40 AM

Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere
Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere

The Idea...  

While working with different star catalogs on the new star constellation sphere, I learned about the brightest stars, how many stars we can see with the naked eyes, how many star constellations are designated and about the distances between the stars and our earth. I was often reminded of the good old card game “Car Quartets”. I can only tell for Germany, but I guess everyone here owned a car quartets when he was a child. So the Idea was born to make a card game together with a new sphere.

The Prototypes

In the video, you can see our first prototype of the sphere and also 6 cards of the card game. These are by far not finished nor historically or scientifically correct, but give you a good sense of where the journey is going to. We stay in contact to a really friendly scientist who researched about the star constellations since 1998. She has two doctor´s degrees and wrote one thesis about Uranography (celestial cartography). She told us that there is no common consensus about the line patterns that connect the stars, but she likes our Idea and is willing to help us with our patterns. In 1930 the IAU International Astronomical Union defined the now common 88 star constellations by its boundary and not by the connections. 

Map of Star constellation borders (IAU)
Map of Star constellation borders (IAU)

There are many sources for line pattern you can find, which are much older or from different civilizations.

Reproduction of the Suzhou star chart (13th century)
Reproduction of the Suzhou star chart (13th century)
The Celestial Map - Northern Hemisphere, Albrecht Dürer(1515)
The Celestial Map - Northern Hemisphere, Albrecht Dürer(1515)
Celestial Map by Frederik de Wit (1670)
Celestial Map by Frederik de Wit (1670)

Together with the scientist, we want to improve the line patterns and we want to see what would be the most beautiful, but also scientific and educational model to put into our sphere.

3D model of the star constellation in a sphere
3D model of the star constellation in a sphere
Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere
Photo of the first prototype of the star constellations in a sphere

The Drawings  

The 88 drawings of the card game are already finished and I find them mesmerizing. We now want to share 6 of them with.

The Attributes  

At the moment the cards show the following attributes and Information:

  • Latin name of the star constellation 
  • Name of the brightest star 
  • Number of bright stars visible in the city (< magnitude 3) 
  • Number of stars visible with the naked eye and on a dark countryside (< mag 6) 
  • Distance to earth (brightest star)
  • The area on the night sky (IAU). 

We also thought about the Number “connected stars” and the “round trip of the traveling salesman”. We want to calculate the shortest path for a salesman in a spaceship to reach all connected stars within a star constellation and come back to earth.

Back of the cards
Back of the cards

The Rules

We are still not completely sure about the rules of the card game, so we decided to ask for your help. Most of us used the car quartets cards for the game "Super Trump" where you basically compare an attribute of the card with your friend's cards and the winner takes the trick. Many didn´t even know, that the real Quartets is way more complex. For the original quartets, you need to collect “quartets”, a combination of 4 cards of a kind. Having this in mind, the game could be fun for adults as well as for their kids so we most likely want to stay with this concept. We will develop the final rules and variants within the campaign because we are certain, that we will find a nice way to play with the cards. The good thing is, they already are informative and nice to look at. 

CinkS labs Kids  

Also, we had the Idea of a more colorful version of the cards especially for smaller kids and we want to know your thoughts about it. My brother thought about taking care of his own campaign with a "memory game" using the colorful design and a collection of star constellations.

The Polling  

For some of these open questions, we decided to make a polling within our campaign. We want to know about your suggestions and wishes, as well as about the name of the card game, the attributes or the colors. We are happy about your help in the comments, so we gain some material for our polling.  

The Campaigns  

We want to launch two separate campaigns, one for the sphere and one for the card game. We do this because we want to reach as many people as possible and we want to be found in the category astronomy, but also in card games.

Stretch Goals

On the one hand, we thought about Special finishes of the cards like glow in the dark paint or tiny holes, so you could play at night or fit the card with the actual stars on the night sky and see them through it. On the other hand, there are many sources for our star constellations, so we have in mind to design different versions of the Sphere, maybe even of the game. For example, there is the Almagest catalog from around 135 A.D., with 1024 stars in 48-star constellations. Or the Suzhou star chart, the Chinese-Korean constellations with 1464 stars in 283 star constellations, but also some more. Together with Susanne, we will elaborate the possibilities of different versions and we offer them as stretch goals.

Early Bird  

We also want to offer early bird offers, so if you are interested in a newsletter with the exact time the campaign starts, feel free to subscribe here: 

Subscribe to Newsletter
Subscribe to Newsletter

Just a fun fact

Two months ago, there was the Perseid meteor shower. I wanted to take some long exposure photos with my new phone and I was so baffled by the quality of the pictures, especially the number of stars and the color they revealed, that I wanted to show you how easy it is to get some good photos of the night sky. All you need is a selfie stick with a tripod, a modern phone and 30s exposure time, to see the stars as you might have never seen them before. 

A photo taken with my phone (Huawei M10 Pro) + some postprocessing with Adobe Lightroom
A photo taken with my phone (Huawei M10 Pro) + some postprocessing with Adobe Lightroom