SPACE obsessives will be able to travel 250 million miles in moments as a stunningly accurate recreation of the planet Mars comes to Dorchester.

Dorchester will be one of the first venues in the country to display Luke Jerram’s seven-metre diameter artwork of the Red Planet when it opens to the public on Tuesday, March 8.

The week-long event is a collaboration with Dorchester Arts and will see the installation of a fusion of Mars imagery, light and surround sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Dorchester Arts director Mark Tattersall said: “Mars gives the residents of Dorchester an amazing opportunity to view our nearest planetary neighbour up close and in perfect detail.

"In addition, a programme of events will allow schools and the local community to draw, dance, play and listen to music in the warm glow of the red planet."

Luke Jerram last brought his artwork to Dorchester in July 2019 when more than 9,000 visitors marvelled at the Museum of the Moon and took part in a spectacular weekend of celebrations led by Dorchester Arts and Dorchester Town Council to mark 50 years since the first man walked on the moon.

Mars is a new touring artwork by UK artist Mr Jerram.

Measuring seven metres in diameter, the artwork features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Martian surface.

At an approximate scale of 1:1million, each centimetre of the internally lit spherical sculpture represents 10 kilometres of the surface of Mars.

The artwork allows visitors to view Mars from the air, as though they are on a satellite - mapping and studying the surface in perfect detail.

Every valley, crater, volcano and mountain is laid bare for us to inspect.

The artwork transports people to this desert wasteland, to imagine what it is like to step foot on the incredible, but barren planet.

Over its lifetime, Mars will be presented in a number of different ways both indoors and outdoors, so altering the experience and interpretation of the artwork.

It will be open daily until Tuesday, March 15 at Dorchester’s Corn Exchange. Admission is free and there is no need to book.

In theory, the closest the planets could come together would be when Mars is at its closest point to the sun (perihelion) and Earth is at its farthest point (aphelion). In that situation, the planets would be 33.9 million miles (54.6 million kilometers) from each other.

When both planets are at aphelion - their farthest distance from the sun - and the two worlds are on opposite sides of the sun, they can be 250 million miles away from each other.


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