Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took the historic first steps on the moon on 20 July 1969, an iconic moment in modern history. To celebrate 50 years since this monumental event for space exploration, 2019 will see numerous space, moon and star events taking place across Britain.
From exhibitions showing space-related wonders to top stargazing spots, Britain is ready to celebrate half a century of celestial exploration.
Celebrating the Moon – Events:
Natural History Museum, London
The Natural History Museum invites visitors to relax and stretch at a unique yoga class underneath a seven-metre artistic representation of the moon, recreated using detailed imagery from NASA. Participants can experience different types of yoga classes in this atmospheric environment, including vinyasa, a crystal ball sound bath, a gong bath, slow flow yoga and reiki drumming. There is also a family-friendly yoga class available in the same setting. Tickets start from £19, rising to £26 per person for gong meditation or reiki drumming.
When? Multiple dates running throughout July and August 2019
In collaboration with South Kensington cheese shop, La Cave à Fromage, the Natural History Museum presents an evening of cheese and wine tasting, underneath Luke Jerram’s moon installation, The Museum of the Moon. Four different cheeses will be paired with wine, while a museum scientist will educate groups about the moon and talk through a few pieces in the related collection. Originally a trio of events, the third in the series is the only one that still has availability. Tickets cost £48.75, with a discounted price available for members.
When? The last remaining event is 20 August 2019
Exploring the relationship between the earth and moon, the Natural History Museum presents ‘Companion: Moon’, a performance of multiple art forms, under the same moon installation ‘The Museum of the Moon’. Inspired by conversations with museum scientists, audience members can either observe or participate. This free performance lasts 15 minutes and will be shown multiple times over the course of the day.
When? Multiple performances throughout July and August 2019
Science Museum, London
Celebrate space exploration with a three-month ‘Summer of Space’ festival of celestial events at the Science Museum. Highlights include an IMAX screening of Apollo 11: First Steps Edition, documenting the lift-off, journey and return home of the first moon landing expedition. Tickets are £11 for adults and £23 for a family.
When? July to September 2019
For an insightful evening of talks focusing on moon conspiracy theorists, the Science Museum will speak to a range of experts, including lecturers in psychology and space science, to discuss and debunk some of the major conspiracy theories surrounding the 1969 moon landing. Experts will also discuss the rise of fake news and the impact of social media. Tickets cost £10.
When? 31 July 2019
Visitors can join British astronaut Tim Peake for an immersive 360° virtual reality space experience, in Space Descent VR with Tim Peake. Going on a mission from the seat of the Soyuz capsule, this experience gives a near first-hand glimpse into an astronaut’s space journey. Tickets cost £7.
When? Open daily from May - September 2019
Allowing visitors to get closer to experiencing a journey to the moon, the Legend of Apollo 3D computer animation uses moving seats, wind, water and lighting alongside an in-depth 3D film to create an entirely immersive lunar event. Shown across two rooms, the pre-show documentary sets the scene, before viewers use 3D glasses to enjoy the main animation. Tickets cost £4.
When? Open daily until November 2019
The Museum of the Moon, UK Tour
Touring the UK throughout 2019, the Museum of the Moon is an awe-inspiring art installation by artist Luke Jerram. Made using imagery of the surface from NASA and measuring seven metres in diameter, this glowing representation of the moon will be showing at atmospheric locations including Derby Cathedral, Leicester Cathedral and Rievaulx Abbey.
When? Throughout the year, see full listings here.
Royal Museum Greenwich, London
The UK’s largest exhibition dedicated to Apollo 11’s moon exploration will land at the National Maritime Museum this July. The Moon Exhibition will map the social and scientific journey of space exploration and discuss the cultural importance of the moon in society. Boasting over 180 objects, including artefacts and equipment from the original Apollo 11 mission, there will also be lunar samples on display. Adult tickets cost £9, children £5.85 and students £6.
When? July 19 2019 – January 5 2020
Year-round stargazing in the UK
Royal Observatory, London
Offering four different stellar shows, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich gives an in-depth glance into our universe through projections and visualisations. Currently showing is Moons Beyond Counting, The Sky Tonight Live, Meet the Neighbours and a special show just for children, Ted’s Space Adventure. Found in the Peter Harrison Planetarium within the Royal Observatory, adult tickets cost £9, children £5.85 and students £6 for each event.
Battlestead Hotel & Observatory, Northumberland
An official ‘Dark Skies Discovery Site’, Battlestead Observatory offers talks, events and astronomy classes, as well as hideaways for star spotting. Stargazing and Moonwatching is an event that happens throughout the year, offering a chance to learn how to identify wrinkle ridges, lunar rilles, craters and volcanoes on the moon. Visitors can also embark on ‘Astronomy for Absolute Beginners’ classes and partake in Aurora Hunting, detailing how to spot the Northern Lights and where to go to see them. Ticketed events cost £22.50 for adults, and £19.50 for concessions.
Dark Sky Sites, UK
Boasting four of the thirteen official Dark Skies Reserves in the world, Britain has a strong pull for serious stargazers. Thanks to their very limited light pollution, National Parks such as Brecon Beacons, Exmoor, Snowdonia and South Downs have been recognised as some of the best spots for enjoying the night sky in the UK, while many others are designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites.