Art + Design

This Book Is a Planetarium, a Speaker, an Instrument, and So Much More

Decode a message, strum a tune, amplify sound…with the help of paper and scientific principles, artist Kelli Anderson has created an interactive experience that’s as educational as it is extraordinary.

This Book Is a Planetarium transforms into six fully functional tools, like an infinite calendar, a geometric drawing generator, and, of course, a real working planetarium. Each pop-up page also explains the science behind why it works.

Take a look for yourself at the many things this book can be!

This Book Is a Speaker

This Book Is a Planetarium
“Sound enters the small end of the cone, and its walls prevent the waves from immediately escaping; the cone continues to corral the sound waves together as they exit, resulting in a composite (and seemingly amplified) sound.”

This Book Is a Spiralgraph

This Book Is a Planetarium
“The spiralgraph produces beautiful patterns through the action of nested spinning . . . As your pen travels on the circular path, it is revolving and rotating at the same time —producing an irregular, but mathematically predictable line called an epicycloid.”

This Book Is a Decoder Ring

This Book Is a Planetarium
“This disc shows one of the most basic forms of cryptography, substitution, in which each letter is swapped for a different character falling a specified number of positions away . . . the entire code system can be changed by merely turning the dial.”

This Book Is a Perpetual Calendar

This Book Is a Planetarium
“This perpetual calendar works because it is a wheel—which, like a year, is also a cycle divisible into smaller units. It contains all of the dates for 28 years and will accurately provide the date for every year from 2015 to 2043 and then can be extended beyond in perpetuity.”

This Book Is an Instrument

This Book Is a Planetarium

“This instrument produces a variety of sound by amplifying string vibrations at varying speeds . . . What makes a stringed instrument “musical” is its ability to reliably produce very precise pitches of sound through varying thicknesses of string.”

This Book Is a Planetarium

This Book Is a Planetarium
“To successfully magnify and project the constellations, the planetarium’s structure takes advantage of a few universal qualities of light: Light rays travel through transparent materials, bounce off of reflective surfaces, and are stopped by unreflective objects.”

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This Book Is a Planetarium leaves readers of all ages with a renewed appreciation for the way things work—and for the enduring magic of books. Find it here.

This Book Is a Planetarium

Jenna Homen

Community Manager at Chronicle Books. When she's logged off, she can be found cooking, camping, or in a museum. You can follow her on Twitter at @jn_na.
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