Get up close to the Sun at Steam this month

By Jessica Durston - 6 February 2023


A 3D recreation of the Sun will be brought to Swindon's Steam Museum this February.

The Sun installation has been created by public artist Alex Rinsler and Professor Robert Walsh, professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire.

It will make its debut at the Steam museum in Swindon as part of the Festival of Tomorrow.

The installation will be free to attend from 10am - 5pm at Steam, between 13 - 19 February 2023

A spokesperson said of the attraction: "The six-metre wide, spherical light artwork is a visual feast presenting data from NASA’s solar Dynamic Observatory in stunning 360 degrees, with smoke effects to mimic the outer atmosphere of our hottest, closest star. 

"Visitors to the exhibition will witness 10 weeks of the Suns' life in 12 and a half minutes as it cycles through temperatures ranging from 4, 500 to 10 million degrees centigrade, accompanied by an original soundscape from multimedia artist Ebe Oke and counter tenor Feargal Mostyn- Williams."

Visitors will be able to visit the Sun installation for free, and visits do not need to be booked beforehand.

Attendees will be presented with a range of hands-on activities to enjoy, or can just choose lie back and take in the sight and sounds of the display.

The installation has been funded by the UKRI Science and Technology Facilities Council, as part of Swindon’s Festival of Tomorrow About Town programme, from the 13 - 19 February 2023 at Steam, Museum of the Great Western Railway.

Neville Hollingworth, Public Engagement Manager at Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), said: “Sun is a unique project which aims to engage and inspire everyone about our closest star and will give visitors an incredible fully immersive experience about the wonders of the Sun”.

The Festival of Tomorrow's Rod Hebden said: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring this incredible experience to Swindon, as part of our About Town programme, thanks to the support of STFC. It’s not often you’re able to get up close to our nearest star, and I think visitors to Steam over half term will find it breathtaking.”

Members of the public can visit for the latest updates.

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