Astronomy for Blind & Visually Impaired

3D printed images of Orion Constellation
for Blind and Visually Impaired.

Tactile Universe 
This Universe is a project of the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation, Portsmouth, UK (lead scientist Dr Nic Bonne) focused on creating amazing 3D printed images of galaxies.

  • at the moment the astronomers work with local schools.
  • but the recent outreach award they received will allow the scientists to take the matters nationwide.
  • they will be able to do outreach visits, organize workshops for educators and, most importantly, to share the models with the community!
  • 3D model of Whirlpool galaxy (M51) accompanied by “tactile tour” information is already available for printing.

This project if focused on the current research and will be especially interesting for young people.

Other astronomy resources for visually impaired learners


  1. 30 minute long episodes of AstronomyCast on a variety of Space topics
  2. Space Sounds collected by different spacecrafts
  3. Inspiring TED talk from astronomer Wanda Diaz-Merced How a blind astronomer found a way to hear stars (spoiler: she uses sonification, i.e. converts data into sound)

Print in 3D

  1. Orion constellation
  2. Northern Hemisphere Sky
  3. Tactive model of Mars


  1. Understanding phases of the Moon activity
  2. The dusty lunar surface activity



  • as you can see, there are lot of passionate scientists and educators out there working hard to make Astronomy accessible to everyone.
  • though their efforts seem to just scratch the surface at the moment, they send an important message to both scientists and the visually impaired people.
  • in the nearest future we hope to see the tactile images and expositions in all major science and space centres as well as tactile and audio resources available for the teachers to use in schools. Space is for everyone!


More Information


Any questions?



Please let me know if any of these details are out of date, and/or if I have missed any new events, email me on derek(at)



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