Using the computer reconstruction of the solar corona, this sculpture provides a faithful three-dimensional reproduction the magnetic field structure, and hence the arrangement of plasma, around the Sun on 21 October 2000.
It is engraved in a 6cm cube block of optical-quality crystal glass. The engraving is performed using a high repetition rate, diode pumped, nanosecond YAG laser. This system focuses intense laser light at points inside the block, thereby generating minute (50 micro-metre) marks in the glass, which show up as more than tiny "frosted" marks.
The realization in this sculpture illustrates the structure of the corona by tracing out 5000 of the field lines to which the coronal plasma is "frozen." Each field line is mapped out with an average of 60 laser marks, so the sculpture contains some 300,000 points.
It is even harder to capture the intricate structure in this sculpture than in Crystal Nebulae's other models. However, by clicking on the above reproduction, you will be able to download a large (1.2MB) raytrace image that captures almost the full resolution of the final glass sculpture (make sure that you zoom the image to full size rather than fit-to-window in your web browser to see the full stunning structure).
The sculpture is available exclusively from Crystal Nebulae for only £39.95 plus £5 postage and packing (including a padded gift box). Details of how to purchase your sculpture, including on-line secure credit card sales, are available here.