The 5 metre orrery was made by Science Projects for Jodrell Bank’s Planet Pavilion. 52 brass gears work with precise accuracy to ensure that the planets orbit the Sun at the right speed in relation to each other.
Dr Teresa Anderson, Director of the Discovery Centre said: “We’ve been planning this exhibit for almost 2 years so it’s wonderful now to see it in place. As far as we know, it’s the largest orrery in the world. It’s completely bespoke and unique to Jodrell Bank and gives visitors the opportunity to interact with some of the UK’s finest precision engineering and craftsmanship first hand.”
As well as running automatically, the orrery can also be operated by a hand generator which enables visitors to ‘drive’ the solar system themselves. The award winning Discovery Centre is located at Jodrell Bank Observatory which is part of the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy.