Date: 
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 17:15

Intrepid space travellers will be able to explore all the planets of our solar system as part of a fabulous new exhibition at the Eden Project this summer (July 27 to September 3).

This amazing adventure has been devised and built by Eden’s production team in collaboration with experts from the UK’s National Space Centre and the European Space Agency.

The journey, known as the solar system safari, will start with a giant, moving projection of the Sun, complete with solar flares shooting from its surface.

Visitors then move to the desolate wasteland of Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, before travelling to the searing, volcanic landscape of Venus, complete with a projection of its surface eruptions.

Explorers are then treated to a spectacular “fly-by” of Earth, getting a beautiful, immersive view of our planet as astronauts see it from space.

Next comes perhaps the most recognisable of planets in our solar system, Mars, which will be represented by a red, craggy landscape and a prototype of the ExoMars rover being developed by Airbus in the UK.

Visitors will then travel to the first of the gas giants and the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. Because it would be impossible to walk on the surface of the planet, Eden explorers will view the beautiful planet from Europa, one of 69 moons that orbit Jupiter.

The other gas giant in our solar system, Saturn, is next on the journey and it will be rendered as a 3D hologram, viewed from an icy cave on its moon Enceladus.

The milky-blue icy landscape of Uranus, the coldest planet in our solar system is next, followed by its fellow ice giant Neptune, the furthest planet from the Sun, which will be represented by a hazy, chilly landscape.

The end of the magical journey will be “landing” on Earth, represented by a lush and verdant garden conceived and built by Eden’s award-winning garden designer Emma Gunn alongside other horticulturists and apprentices.

The garden is inspired by Caribbean planting and landscape and will feature a waterfall, lagoon and a veranda to show human dependence on plants.

Chris Pritchard, Eden’s programme producer, said: “The solar system safari will be the centrepiece of our biggest, most ambitious summer holiday programme yet. It will be grand and awe-inspiring, offering our visitors the chance to walk on the surface of planets where no humans have ever visited.

“We hope that experiencing the barren grandeur of our solar system before returning to the lush and exotic gardens representing Earth will give people a new sense of perspective and encourage them to better look after our planet.”

The solar system safari is part of the Eden Project’s Journey into Space season, which will see the iconic attraction filled with space-themed fun, also including astronaut training and a chance to come face to face with an alien visitor.

All Journey into Space activities are included in the Eden admission price. For more information or to book tickets, see www.edenproject.com.

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