How are you all doing? Are you looking forward to the weekend? I will be in Paris from Friday, so I am hoping for good weather and more photos to share with you on the blog :). Last Sunday, I visited the Science Museum’s exhibition – The Sun: Living with our Star. It has been running for a while and will continue until the 6th May 2019. For those who haven’t yet checked it out, you still have plenty of time!
I have not visited the Science Museum in South Kensington, London in many years. It is still one of the coolest places. It is a huge space and covers a vast range of topics. For those that don’t have a chance to visit London anytime soon, they have improved their digital resources and it is now possible to search and explore over 250,000 objects online.
Last Sunday was glorious. The weather was just perfect which is unheard of at this time of year, it was around 15 degrees Celsius and the sky was beautifully clear and blue. I managed to capture some pretty awesome shots outside and the lighting in the beautiful entrance hall.
The Sun: Living with our Star
The exhibition focuses on our nearest star – the Sun through objects, interactive videos and imagery. It is an in-depth study, starting with how it has been worshipped through history and how it is the centre of how time is measured on Earth. One of the coolest displays was a game on how to read sundials – this might sound silly, but I have never learnt how to read one, so now I know which I think it is pretty cool! Despite it being made for kids and we all now have watches and phones which tell the time…maybe in an apocalyptic scenario it might prove useful.
The exhibition then moves onto the next room to explain how the sun can impact our health. From being used to prevent/cure diseases such as Tuberculosis in Victorian times to the invention of sunlamps in the 1920/30s, through to the societal shift after the War, where people started to enjoy the healthy sun kissed looked and the rise of skin cancer since then. I spent a lot of time in this room as there was a lot of information dotted around and some vintage advertisements from different eras.
You can’t help to notice the “fake” beach setting with gold palm trees and some random deck chairs located right in the middle of the room. Guess it is made more for kids and potentially an Instagram moment?! I did appreciate; however, the constant background noise of the sea and seagulls; made me think that I need to plan a trip to the seaside soon!
The exhibition then moves on to how humans have been trying to harness the sun for energy. Given that I work in the renewables industry, this section was probably my favourite. It was awesome to see the beginnings of solar energy. Surprisingly, the use of fossil fuels and how it will eventually run out was already considered by the engineers of the Industrial Revolution, yet several hundred years on, we continue to use these pollutants as our main source of energy [Rant over]. One of the interactive exhibits was to try and bounce “sun rays” into a solar panel and light up a central light. It stumped me a bit, but I challenge anyone else to give it a go!
The final room of the exhibit explains the dangers of the solar storms caused by sunspots, with a focus on a storm in 1859, also known as the Carrington Event.
I knew nothing about this or the impact it would have on us today given all the technology we have. There is a very good video which explains the phenomenon in the exhibition, admittedly, made for kids, but very interesting nonetheless! There is also a game to try and save the Earth from future sun storms, I also challenge anyone to get full marks (I got 4 out of 5…clearly I was too risk-averse!).
The exhibition ends with a large room with awesome footages of the solar flares and sunspots. A vivid reminder of how small we are in comparison in the grand scheme of space and within our solar system.
Overall, it was an extremely informative exhibition and took me around an hour to complete. I highly recommend it for families as it is more catered for children. However, that is not to say an adult won’t enjoy it too (like me!). The exhibition gets a solid 3.5/5 pineapples!
I hope you enjoyed the little science snippets of the day as it is slightly different from the usual art and culture on the blog. I would love to hear from you, so do leave a comment below!
With Sweet & Sour Love,