Science festival at Ely Cathedral - a ‘seamless mix of reverence and awe’ celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing
PUBLISHED: 12:17 21 May 2019
It connects religion and science in a seamless mix of reverence and awe – and Monday’s launch had them in abundance.
Launch night for the Ely Cathedral science festival began with choral evensong that included the first performance of the anthem 'The Ordinances of Heaven', a piece commissioned especially for the festival.
It has been written by Tim Watts, artist-in-residence at the Institute of Astronomy and a fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, set to the words from the Book of Job.
Once over the choristers were among those cheerfully and gleefully enjoying the delights of the science festival.
Not only is there plenty to see and to do but exhibitors actively encourage audience participation - such as discovering, for scientific purposes, who can refrain from blinking the longest.
Thought not obligatory it does seem the Daleks like to find their way to these sorts of events and a popular attraction it was too.
But the focal point is the 'Museum of the Moon', suspended from the nave ceiling and the creation of artist Luke Jerram. It is quite simply, breathtaking with a diameter of seven metres and replicating in extraordinary detail the surface of the moon.
The festival is on until June 9 and there are many lectures and presentations and details of these are on the cathedral website, Facebook page or simply by popping into the cathedral for a leaflet.
A spectacular science event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and explore what the future holds for humanity. Lift up your eyes and experience the Museum of the Moon, a 7 metre diameter lunar replica hovering above the Cathedral's nave. Come and explore the wonders of space through themed activity nights, an interactive 'space' exhibition including space suits and meteorites. Experience the National Space Centre's Star Dome and immerse yourself in talks on space travel, aliens and the future of our planet given by leading experts including the Astronomer Royal and presenters from The Sky at Night.
Museum of the Moon
The Museum of the Moon by UK artist Luke Jerram will be on display in the magnificent nave throughout the Science Festival. The moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface. The internally lit replica is at an approximate scale of 1:500,000 so each centimetre represents 5km of the moon's surface. This amazing installation is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround-sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones.
Orbiting around the Museum of the Moon will be intriguing and inspiring exhibits including a replica of the Space suit worn by Neil Armstrong, an ancient star atlas, astronomical diagrams from the seventeenth century and the first ever printed map of the moon on loan from the Institute of Astronomy. There will be fragments of Meteorites collected from around the world and space food for astronauts. This includes a bacon sandwich made in collaboration with Heston Blumenthal for Tim Peake's trip to the International Space Station, containing the first piece of bread in space since 1965. The quirkiest item in the exhibition has to be a space toilet- because we are still only human!
There will also be exhibits from the Cambridge Science Centre and a stunning lunar-inspired art exhibition Moon-shot: Woman on the Moon by ESERO-space Ambassador, Helen Schell. These large scale works of art will utilise the magnificent setting of the Cathedral and encourage visitors to explore all the space themed exhibits on display. A full programme is available on the Cathedral website and Science Festival flyer. In addition a major Schools' programme will run alongside with support from The Royal Institution, The Whipple Museum, National Space Centre and the Institute of Astronomy.
Lunar Inspired Art Exhibition
Large scale textile art installations by the artist and ESERO-space Ambassador, Helen Schell will be exhibited in key areas of the Cathedral to invite visitors to engage with science exhibits nearby on a number of moon and space topics. Continuing the textile art theme, local schools will be invited to produce space themed banners to be displayed in the Galilee porch and the two nave aisles. Students will be inspired by ESERO-space Ambassador, Helen Schell, to investigate space materials and moon habitats and to examine the heavens with a Cambridge University astronomer. Around 1700 children took part in the art exhibition and school workshops for the last Science Festival and it is anticipated that a similar number will be involved with the 2019 Festival.
Normal admission fees apply - Free Entry to Children under 16, Full time students and all Cathedral Pass Holders. (Excluding special events).
Science Festival Special Events
19 May - Keynote Lecture: Lord Rees, Astronomer Royal
20 May - Evensong
20 May - Night at the Cathedral with Grand Opening
21 May - Dallas Campbell 'We Choose to Go to the Moon
22 May - A Trip to the Moon: A film and Music Recital
24 May - Lecture: Professor Chris Lintott
25 May - Fly Me To The Moon Concert
26 May - Sung Eucharist
26 May - 'Dr Who Uncovered' with special guests!
27 May - Children's Lecture: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock
27 May - Keynote Lecture: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock
28 May - Family Fusing
28 May - Children's Lecture: Dr Matthew Bothwell
28 May - Keynote Lecture: Dr Matthew Bothwell
29 May - School Holiday Drop-in Session
29 May - Night at the Cathedral II
30 May - Ascension Day Pre-Service Lecture: Dr Andrew Davison
2 June - Compline by Moonlight