Durham England’s Artificial Sun, Brings Light To An Otherwise Gloomy Town


Durham residents can now enjoy their very own sun high atop Durham University. From what we’re told Durham doesn’t see a whole lot of sunlight so this is a fun project for the city. This project, led by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, created an exact replica of the sun 100 million times smaller than the celestial body that warms our days. It’s a pretty wicked achievement and makes me want to take a trip over the pond just to see it with my own two eyes. Lozano-Hemmer filled a orbicular blimp with helium and animated it with five projectors that are pulling the latest data from NASA’s servers.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

“While pertinent environmental questions of global warming, drought, or UV radiation arise from the contemplation of Solar Equation, the piece also evokes romantic environments of ephemerality, mystery and paradox, such as those from Blake or Goethe. Every culture has a unique set of solar mythologies and this project seeks to be a platform for both the expression of traditional symbolism and the emergence of new stories. 

Some people may experience the work as a traditional son-et-lumière spectacle, others as a visualisation of natural forces, while others as a call to action to harness the sustainability of solar power. Coincidentally, the sun generates its own energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium, the inert gas that is used to fly the maquette.”

Hit the links below for more information.

Sources: Lumiere, The Atlantic Cities

Photos from Twitter

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