Visions of the Universe, 2013 (past event)

The Royal Observatory Greenwich exhibition Visions of the Universe showed how we have captured images of the heavens over the centuries. 

Our Visions of the Universe exhibition has now closed.

The exhibition ran at the Royal Observatory Greenwich from 7 June to 15 September 2013.

Highlights of Visions of the Universe

Visions of the Universe showed how we have captured images of the heavens over the centuries, from the earliest hand-drawings to photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and the very latest footage from the Mars Curiosity rover.

Visitors were presented by an astonishing array of images of stars, planets and galaxies gathered from NASA, the Russian space programme, the European Southern Observatory and some of the greatest telescopes in the world, plus some of the best entries from the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Visions of the Universe aimed to captivate all who have ever stared up at the night sky in amazement, and anyone who simply loves beautiful photography.

To put it bluntly, this is the most beautiful and significant exhibition I have seen in ages”  ★★★★★ Jonathan Jones, The Guardian

[• Colours of space – BBC feature on Visions of the Universe]

Mars Window

A highlight of the exhibition was the 13-metre long Mars Window, a panoramic projection of the Martian landscape as seen by NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity rovers on the surface of the red planet. Each panorama was painstakingly stitched together from dozens of individual images. Projected on a large scale, the installation gave the feeling of standing on Mars itself.

Wolfgang Tillmans

Exploring the connections between art and science, Visions of the Universe also featured photographic works by Turner Prize-winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans. Selected by the artist, the works include prints from his ‘Venus transit’ (2004) series and the large-scale ‘in flight astro (ii)’ (2010).

Expert Voices

The exhibition included contributions and insights from prominent figures in the world of astronomy, including scientists Dr Chris Lintott and Dr Lucie Green from the BBC’s The Sky at Night, Mars explorer Professor Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College, space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, astrophotographer Dr David Malin and Baron Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal.

Sir Patrick Moore, 1923–2012

The exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Sir Patrick Moore – pioneer of lunar observation, presenter of the BBC’s The Sky at Night programme, populariser of astronomy, and a long-standing friend of this Museum.