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  • Writer's pictureIna

The Big Bright Moon returns to London next week

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Remember the stunning big bright Moon that was on display at the Natural History Museum in 2019 and in Greenwich (2017)? If you miss it, good news: it will be back in London next week, at the Kensington + Chelsea Festival.

Museum of the Moon was on display
Museum of the Moon was on display at London's Old Royal Observatory Gardens between 23 and 25 June 2017.

The acclaimed giant moon installation is called Museum of the Moon, and unlike most of us, it has been circling the globe in over 30 countries, from Bilbao to India and Beijing. Since 2016, it has been lighting up hundreds of spaces, including abbeys and swimming pools, and was experienced by over 10 million people. After at least 2 previous London residencies at the Natural History Museum (2019-2020) and at the Old Royal Observatory Gardens (2017), the Moon will have a special stay in London again, from 12 to 30 August 2021, at the Kensington + Chelsea Festival.

The inflatable lunar art installation is an internally lit spherical replica of the Moon created by Luke Jerram. The sculpture has a diameter of 7 metres (23 ft.) and features detailed 120dpi NASA imagery of the lunar surface, at a scale of 1:500,000 – which means that one centimetre (0.39 in.) of the sculpture represents 5km (3.1 mi) of the moon’s surface.

The artwork is a synthesis of moonlight, lunar photography, and a special surround soundscape created by award-winning composer Dan Jones. Artist Luke Jerram was inspired to create the Museum of the Moon when he lived in Bristol, after witnessing the wide tidal range of a local waterway.

Museum of the Moon at the Natural History Museum (from 17 May 2019 to 5 January 2020)
Museum of the Moon was on show at the Natural History Museum, London from 17 May 2019 until 5 January 2020.

The helium balloon created by Cameron Balloons was initially funded by the UK Space Agency and the UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres. The printed images of the Moon's surface come from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and were stitched together by the Astrogeology Science Centre of the US Geological Survey. When installed indoors or in darker places, the sphere is lit internally to generate the illusion of a glowing floating orb.

Did you know that..?

  • Although the surface of the Museum of the Moon balloon is smooth, it seems textured?

  • It’s the Natural History Museum in London’s most popular exhibition (to date), with over 2 million visitors)?

Museum of the Moon at the Kensington + Chelsea Festival

The Moon sculpture will first be displayed outdoors at the Kensington Town Hall Square between 12-15th August. From 18th to 30th August, it will beautifully float inside the St. John the Baptist Church (Holland Road), being open to the public and illuminated daily between 4-9:30 PM pm. However, the best time to visit will be between 7-7:30 pm when the installation will come alive with an exclusive, immersive music installation presented by composer Dan Jones.

More about the K+C Festival here.

Further details on the Museum of the Moon are on their official page.

Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram

📍 Kensington Town Hall Square (Hornton Street, London W8 7NX) 12-15th August

📍 St. John the Baptist Church (Holland Road, London W14 8AH) 18-30th August

📅 12 to 30 August 2021

Daily until 9:30 PM

🚇 The closest tube station is Kensington High Street on the Circle or District Line (for the 1st location) and Shepherd's Bush Station (Central Line and London Overground) for St. John the Baptist Church.

*All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon, unless stated otherwise.


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