Commissioned by Lichfield Festival, Festive Road created a giant orrery to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing - and it was a big hit!
Our orrery is a mechanical model of the solar system showing the movement of the major planets around the Sun. It also shows the Moon in orbit around Earth.
The planets are represented by spheres - and these are moved by gears (human powered via a turning handle at the core) to mimic the overall effect of the planetary movements.
The planets' orbits reach a diameter of 8m at the widest rotation point; and by walking under, around, and through the planets - people can take the opportunity to become fully engaged with and immersed in the experience.
Not only is it a mechanical marvel, but also a fun educational tool! At Lichfield, we had materials on hand to give more details about the planets which are part of the orrery, as a means to encouraging discussion about the solar system, and it sparked interesting comments and debate - especially about the re-categorisation of Pluto to a dwarf planet!
The orrery is now available for hire from Festive Road and will be on display as part of our Heritage Open Day on the 15th September.