Mars in Detail: Luke Jerram's Inspiring Sphere of Wonder

Mars, by UK artist Luke Jerram
Exploring Mars Through Art: A Close Encounter with the Red Planet  


Kara Wexler

From NASA’s photos to science fiction, we all think we know about Mars. But what is the red planet actually like? The artwork Mars by UK-based artist Luke Jerram brings the planet closer to us than we’ve ever been before. 

Creating a Scale-Model Mars 
The Mars installation features a lit sphere with imagery from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data. At an approximate scale of 1:1 million, it measures 23 feet in diameter. The sculpture displays details of the surface of Mars, such as valleys and craters, and is accompanied by a composition by award-winning composer Dan Jones. Jerram says about the work: “Mars... allows a close encounter with the Martian planet. I hope that visitors will feel transported to its inhospitable desert wasteland and in comparison, really value our life on Earth.” 

Luke Jerram: Space Art Pioneer 
Jerram is known for sculptures, installations, and live arts projects, including other space-themed works Museum of the Moon and Gaia. A lifelong science enthusiast, he is interested in scale and the scope of our senses and is inspired by the sense of wonder that the universe can evoke in people. His work has been shown around the world and earned him multiple awards, including being elected as a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Mars has toured internationally, in both indoor and outdoor venues. 

Journey to Mars at The Franklin Institute
Mars will be on display in The Franklin Institute’s atrium through November 19th. Along with the new Wondrous Space exhibit, the Fels Planetarium, and the Holt & Miller Observatory, it gives guests a new way to consider our universe and what’s out there.


About the author

Kara Wexler ,
Digital Marketing Coordinator

Kara is our Digital Marketing Coordinator by day, and a playwright by night. She loves both science and history, and is curious about pretty much everything.