The Canadian Museum of Nature is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing with an exciting “moon season” of exhibits and activities, ranging from a giant, suspended Moon, to a real moon rock.
The most visible component of the “Moon at the Museum” season is a recently-erected “Supermoon” in the Queens’ Lantern, replacing the popular inflated jellyfish that has occupied that space in the glass tower since 2014. Designed by British artist Luke Jerram, the seven-metre-wide inflated sculpture of the moon is one of only five in the world. Showing the moon’s geological features in extreme closeup, Jerram crafted the detailed sculpture using high definition NASA imagery. The moon’s craters, valleys, and hills will be on full display – especially at night when the sphere is illuminated.
And to check out the real thing, visitors can head to the Earth Gallery to see a real moon rock from the 1972 Apollo 17 mission (the last time humans set foot on the moon). Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt collected what became to be known as the Goodwill Moon Rock from the Taurus Valley of the Moon. It was later divided and presented to 135 countries around the world.
On July 20th, the anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s and Buzz Aldrin’s historic walk on the moon, there will be a full-day of programming, with a highlight at 1 PM as the museum welcomes astronaut Jeremy Hansen from the Canadian Space Agency. Visitors can join him as he tunes into a live YouTube chat between astronaut David St-Jacques, who recently returned from the International Space Station, and former astronaut Bob Thirsk.
Visit nature.ca for details about the events.
Image source: Laura Sutin/Canadian Museum of Nature