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A professor and his students turned an observatory into a giant R2-D2, and it’s amazing

March 31st, 2019 at 3:56 PM
r2-d2 observatory

People who study science day in and day out usually have some fondness for science fiction, and Professor Hubert Zitt is no exception. Zitt, who lectures at Germany’s University of Kaiserslautern, happens to be a huge fan of Star Trek and Star Wars, and when he looked at the Zweibrücken Observatory he clearly saw what it resembled.

The dull, grey observatory served an important purpose for scientists, but it was also a bit drab looking. So, with the help of painter Klaus Ruffing and some of Zitt’s own students, the tall dome got an extreme makeover and now it sports some serious Star Wars flair.

The observatory was already the perfect shape to be turned into the lovable Star Wars droid R2-D2, and aside from the lack of legs fixed to its side it’s a dead ringer for the quirky robot.

In a series of photos on Facebook we get a good idea of how the process unfolded. The original paint job was obviously lacking in aesthetic appeal:

https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/40366089_2067546536610347_3437176938743988224_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-msp1-1.xx&oh=d3c46f583e93dbb02a3859bbafdb0351&oe=5D4F5784

Before the facility could be properly repainted it needed a good scrub-down. Time for the pressure washer!

https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/40248449_2067546663277001_6845225555315392512_n.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_ht=scontent-msp1-1.xx&oh=229900d44032150355ad7e77133af5fe&oe=5D0F79BF

We have to assume the next several hours were spent taping off the robot’s iconic ports and stripes, because the next image we get is the panting in progress.

Then there’s the final product, standing in all its geeky glory. You have to admit, it’s a remarkable likeness.

https://scontent-msp1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/40390528_2067546006610400_3930268304203055104_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_ht=scontent-msp1-1.xx&oh=9a8d5cc7a3b38e6eb841e8e41b18dd35&oe=5D145FAB

In fact, the team did such a remarkable job that the legendary Luke Skywalker himself took notice, giving the mega-R2-D2 a nod on Twitter:

The unexpected art installation has drawn plenty of Star Wars fans eager to post their own photos on Instagram and elsewhere, and it’s become something of an attraction for particularly devoted sci-fi diehards. It’s easy to see why.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech.

Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.




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