Astronomically accurate jewellery
..."AT LAST!" I hear you cry! Since finishing my PhD in astrophysics this year, I've been beavering away, making all my astronomical jewellery dreams into a reality. Here are just a few of my absolute favourite pieces (and there's still plenty more to come!).
Remember on old TVs when you'd get a fuzzy black and white screen when you lost signal? That's a signature of the radiation left over from the Big Bang! When the universe was just 380,000 years old (pretty young compared to today - it's now approximately 13.8 billion years old!), atoms and photons decoupled which effectively made the universe transparent. At that time, the average temperature of all the 'stuff' in space was around 3000K (~2700°C), but it's been cooling down ever since, so the temperature of space is now 2.7K (-270.45°C. Pretty chilly!). On this necklace the darker bits represent the coolest areas, and the lighter bits represent the warmer spots. The line across the centre shows the 'galactic extinction' at 353GHz - this is where the dust from our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is obscuring the CMB!
During my PhD I studied nearby galaxies which are constantly forming stars. Each time a star is born, new elements are created and this leaves a trace in the light collected by our telescopes. By looking at this light we can tell which elements have been formed in that galaxy. Each line on this necklace represents a different element or molecule, so any keen-eyed astronomer will be able to tell what it is.
Did you know that the moon rotates on its axis once every 28 days, which is the same time as it takes the moon to orbit the Earth? That's why there's a 'dark side of the moon' which we can't see from Earth, because it's always facing away from us. In actual fact the 'dark side' is illuminated by the Sun just as much as the light side, but we just can't see it!