Objects in space are rather far away. The Moon is our closest celestial neighbor at nearly a quarter million miles from Earth, and the nearest star, our Sun, is 93 million miles away.
These extreme distances mean that it’s usually impossible to touch real objects in space (meteorites that fall to the ground not withstanding). Advances in both astronomy and technology, however, now allow you to do the next best thing: hold a 3-D model of one based on real data.
Find out about the journey of going from 2D data to timed data to 3D in my TED talk recently filmed in Providence, RI, "How to hold a dead star in your hand."