In a tribute to ISRO’s Chandrayaan 2, the dome of Nehru Planetarium has been revamped to resemble the lunar surface. Measuring 86 feet in diameter, the painting on the dome is allegedly the world’s largest replica of an artist’s impression of the Moon.
The project, which started in August, was to be unveiled to coincide with the landing of Vikram lander on the Moon. However, it was delayed due to the prolonged monsoon and post-monsoon showers in the state.
The dome was unveiled Thursday evening. A viewing gallery has been put up at the Nehru Center, and it will be open from 11 am to 9.30 pm on all days.
Called the ‘lunar dome’, the design gives visitors a sense of the Moon’s southern hemisphere. As part of the project, the Tycho and Copernicus lunar ray craters (craters on the Moon are caused by asteroids and meteorites) have been incorporated into the design.
Arvind Paranjpye, the director of Nehru Planetarium, said, “The dome’s design is not an exact replica of the Moon’s surface but has been made to suit an artist’s interpretation based on high resolution NASA maps.”
The dome has been painted by artists belonging to St+art India foundation and been conceptualised by creative agency Sideways and Asian Paints. Rajkot-based Gulammahmad Bukhari, popularly known as Sharad, is the main artist responsible for the painting.
As many as 2,500 bamboos were used to make the scaffolding and 200 litres of paint was utilised. The rains were a challenge for artists and several images had to be taken from a drone to take stock of the progress, said creative director of St+art India foundation, Hanif Kureshi.