Nano Space

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June 20, 2013 – Last year the Cook Islands issued a coin containing a small nano chip, upon which a detailed map of the world was depicted. The effect was spectacular – the coin celebrated modern technology’s foray into the tiniest of dimensions. Now, the coin has a successor: Nano Space. This coin takes things one step further, capturing our solar system on the chip. From the smallest to the largest …

Cook Islands / 10 Dollars / Silver 925 / 50 g / 50 mm / Mintage: 1,000.

The front of the coin features a portrait and the name of the Cook Islands’ Head of State, Elizabeth II, as well as the nominal value, 10 dollars, and the issuing authority, Cook Islands.
A colourfully executed sun features prominently on the reverse. Appearing in front of it, also in colour, is planet Earth. A telescope apparatus is shown in relief in the foreground, while irregular shapes signifying elements of the solar system appear in the background. The year of issue, 2013, is embossed on the left edge, while the upper edge features the name of the coin, Nano Space, the ‘o’ of which features a stylized telescope inset. Beneath this runs the slogan Exploration of the Universe in smaller lettering. A 4.5 x 8.6 mm nano chip is embedded above the sun which shows in high quality images of the planets and informative texts.

Although our solar system represents only a small portion of the known universe, it already seems unimaginably large to us. We have to rely on models to reduce the dimensions to a scale that we can actually see, grasp, and appreciate. At the outer edge of our system, the planet Neptune orbits the sun at a distance of about 4.5 billion kilometres. Also extending from the orbit of Neptune is the so-called Kuiper Belt, a region consisting of many small bodies, whose outermost edge is about 7.5 billion kilometres from the sun.
In relation to such enormous proportions, the mere 1.39 million kilometres diameter of the sun appear vanishingly small. And yet, the sun is by far the largest object in the solar system and contains more than 98% of the system’s total mass! However, this enormous solar system is also just a small portion of a galaxy that is itself just one of many. If these proportions and infiniteness make you dizzy, it is time to return to the comprehensible scale of small models.

The nano chip contains representations of the celestial bodies and informative tables and diagrams.

Coin collectors can now find just such a model captured on a coin. Last year, Coin Invest Trust had already dazzled us with the latest nano technology when they engraved a miniature map of the world on a tiny chip. The Nano Earth coin sold out quickly, and paved the way for its successor the Nano Space coin. This coin reaches beyond our planet and manages to capture representations of the celestial bodies along with informative tables and diagrams on a nano chip measuring just 4.5 x 8.6 mm with a  resolution of 155 megapixels. In a sophisticated procedure, the chip was completely flattened in a vacuum and engraved using cutting-edge technology. Just like its predecessor, the Nano Space coin is already sold out and therefore well on its way to becoming a sought-after collector’s item.
The coin is minted by B.H. Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt.

More information to this coin and its predecessor are available on the website of Coin Invest Trust.

To inform yourself about the universe you should not miss the NASA website

… or the NASA twitter blog.