Brno Observatory unveils giant inflatable orbs for Planet Festival

As part of this year's Planet Festival, the Brno Observatory and Planetarium has assembled ten-meter tall models of the Sun, Earth, the Moon, and Mars. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 06.08.2022 09:50:00 (updated on 06.08.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Ten-meter tall inflatable versions of the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, and Mars are now on display outside the Brno Observatory and Planetarium as part of this year's Planet Festival, which runs through August 11 in the Moravian capital.

The giant orbs will be inflated daily and can be viewed in nearby Kraví hora park daily from 2:00 p.m. through 11:30 p.m. through the next week, according to Observatory and Planetarium director Jiří Dušek. In case of inclement weather including high winds, however, they may not be inflated.

While some of the individual inflatable models have appeared outside the Observatory and Planetarium for past year's festivals, this is the first time that all four heavenly bodies have been on display together.

The inflatable orbs were designed and produced by Brno-based creative studio Visualove in collaboration with local manufacturer Kubíček Visionair, and created specifically for the Observatory and Planetarium.

The companies first collaborated in 2019 on a model of the Moon created in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 1969.

"We first worked with Visualove to prepare a large ten-meter model of the Moon on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing," Petra Hájková from Kubíček Visionair told reporters.

"Thanks to this project, our cooperation with the Brno Observatory and Planetarium also began. In 2019, around eight thousand people came to see the [inflatable] Moon lit up on a single weekend."


Following the Moon launch, the companies have produced a new inflatable model each year, starting with the Earth in 2020 and Mars in 2021. The Sun is their latest project, and has been officially unveiled for this year's Planet Festival.

The model of the sun was created using high-resolution images capture by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. It took a total of eight days to assemble the inflatable orb, with a team of six tailors sewing pieces of the model together.

Apart from the appearing at the Planet Festival, the giant orbs are also requested for display by other observatories, museums, schools, and even international festivals such as Leonardslee Illuminated in the United Kingdom. According to Hájková, the Earth is the most popular model.

Along with the inflatable planets, this year's Planet Festival in Brno includes daily accompanying events including nightly summer cinema sci-fi projections in the park and special 3D digital presentations in the Planetarium.

Visitors can come see the giant inflatable orbs and other accompanying events at Kraví hora park for free through the next week, though admission is charged for the digital shows inside the Observatory and Planetarium.

This year's Planet Festival in Brno runs through Thursday, August 11. More information can be found at the Observatory and Planetarium's official website.

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