The Earth’s Magnetic Field Keeps This Desktop Jupiter Globe Spinning

Jupiter is not only the largest planet in our solar system, it’s also arguably the most stunning. Those massive storms — including that enormous red eye — produce quite an atmospheric show. And as a cheaper alternative to a giant telescope, this tiny desktop-sized version of Jupiter lets you stare in awe at the gas giant when you probably should be working.

At just 11cm in size, this considerably smaller version of Jupiter actually floats inside a clear acrylic sphere. And despite a lack of cables, the globe will spin almost indefinitely, thanks to solar cells hidden beneath the intricate artwork that power a highly efficient drive mechanism. Like a compass, it actually relies on the Earth’s magnetic field to turn. As long as there’s ample light and a planet beneath our feet, this version of Jupiter should rotate forever.

So keep that in mind as you’re debating the globe’s $US145 price tag. It won’t take up a USB port, there’s no cables to hide, no batteries to replace, and it’s more fascinating to watch than a Newton’s cradle. [ThinkGeek]