This has to be the most atomic globe around! I originally saw this a month or so ago at an antique store in San Jose, California. Then recently, I saw a post in a Mid Century Modern group on Facebook about an Astro globe someone had in their collection (thanks Holly!). That inspired me to pick up the one I spotted. Prior to this, I had never heard of this globe, so I did some research as I do with all vintage pieces we acquire.
Because of its “Space Age” design, the Torica Celestial Spheres has become a very popular and sought after collectors item. The transparent plastic celestial sphere is made of two halves and identifies stars, nebulas, constellations, nova and so much more.
Besides its obvious atomic appeal, this is a functional scientific tool. These globes came with instructions, but unfortunately mine did not. Also, upon further examination I noticed it appears to be missing the half meridian ring that is a bold yellow that overlays the celestial globe. Even with all this I still think it is dynamite!!!
Inside the celestial sphere is a terrestrial globe. The Globe is mounted on a fixed axis and has a wire ring around it. We’re not confident if this is a representation of the moon or satellite orbiting?
An additional mounting with a wire arm and a red ball representing the sun is located inside the sphere and can be rotated around the earth with a knob attached to the outside of the celestial globe.
The Torica Astro Globe is no longer in production although facsimiles were produced later with the aid of Japanese astronomers.