A popular art exhibition, which aims to instil the same feeling astronauts get when they see the Earth from space, has returned to Greenwich.

Following a sold-out installation in summer 2020, the jaw-dropping Gaia is returning to the Old Royal Naval College, starting this week.

Gaia will be displayed in the Painted Hall for a month, including late night openings.

The monumental sculpture by Luke Jerram rotates slowly while suspended in mid-air, an exact scale replica of Earth made using NASA imagery.

The artwork aims to inspire a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ that astronauts experience when they see Earth from space – feelings of awe, and an understanding of the interconnection of all life, particularly profound after a year when many people have been unable to connect with others due to the pandemic.

Pic by Colin Mackenzie

Pic by Colin Mackenzie

The internally-lit Gaia is 1.8 million times smaller than Earth, with each centimetre of the sculpture representing 18km of the Earth’s surface.

By standing 211 metres away from the slowly rotating artwork, viewers can see the Earth as it appears from the moon while enjoying a specially made surround-sound composition by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones.

Friday night openings are set to go ahead each week throughout June, along with extended opening hours next Sunday, June 6.

Matthew Mees, chief executive of the Old Royal Naval College, said: "The wonder of Gaia as a thoughtful and illuminating work of art needs to be seen to be believed, especially against the magnificent Baroque setting of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College.

"We were overwhelmed with the response it received last year and so are delighted to be given the opportunity to install Jerram’s thought-provoking work once again and to give more people a chance to visit and experience it for themselves."

More information can be found here.