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Our Place in Space

Throughout October and November, Liverpool has been the host of the Our Place in Space scale Solar System. The 8.1 km scale model of the solar system begins with the Sun on Church Street and winds along the city’s iconic waterfront and Trans Pennine Trail before finishing in Otterspool, where Pluto awaits.

Photograph of a promenade next to the river Mersey. In the forefront of the photo there is a large pink arch with the name 'PLUTO' on the top. There is a large arrow pointing towards a tiny ball representing Pluto to scale.
Pluto: on Otterspool promenade, Liverpool

As part of the event, the NRT held an evening of talks about the project, led by Adam Garner (automation and control engineer) and Joao Bento (DevOps engineer). The two presented the overall science case for the project along with the challenges of building the world's largest robotic telescope.

Photograph of Adam and Joao in front of an audience of people. Behind them is a screen displaying a slide that reads 'catching a glimpse of the exploding universe' with a background of the pillars of creation; great regions of dust in space.
Joao (left) and Adam (right) present the NRT science case to the 'Our Place in Space' audience.

In addition to their presentations, Joao and Adam also gave the audience the opportunity to hold a replica NRT mirror segment. The plastic hexagon is approximately 0.9 metres in diameter and is less delicate than the real segments will be (and much cheaper to make!). The real NRT mirror will be made up of 18 hexagonal segments which will be control by a computer to ensure they act as a single mirror surface.

Photograph of Adam and Joao standing in a room holding a replica NRT mirror segment which is an approximately 0.9m diameter hexagon made out of plastic.
Adam (left) and Joao (right) holding a replica NRT mirror segment.

Our Place in Space was in Liverpool until the 6th November, for more information of other locations please visit


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