See the Earth in Rochdale

Date published: 11 November 2021

Only astronauts can really know the indescribable feeling of being able to see the Earth in its entirety, but Rochdale residents and visitors are about to get something approaching the same experience.

Gaia - the stunning replica of planet Earth will be in town for five weeks from 20 November and you can come and see it for free!

Direct from #COP26 in Glasgow, artist Luke Jerram’s internationally renowned installation will see the huge work of art depicting the Earth exhibited at Number One Riverside from Saturday 20 November until Christmas Eve. It will be open to the public seven days a week, 9am – 5pm weekdays (extended until 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and 10am – 5pm on Saturdays, 1pm – 5pm on Sundays.

Seven metres in diameter and created from detailed NASA imagery of the Earth’s surface it will provide the opportunity to see the planet on a huge scale, floating in three dimensions. A surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones plays alongside.

The installation aims to create a sense of the ‘Overview Effect’ - a common reaction by astronauts who have seen the real thing from their craft has been 'a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment'.

As well as seeing the spectacular Gaia, there’s special events themed around looking after our environment and its precious resources.


Television presenter and Gastronaut Stefan Gates presents his ‘Extreme Science’ show
Television presenter and Gastronaut Stefan Gates presents his ‘Extreme Science’ show.


Here are just some of the highlights…

On Saturday 27 November at 11am or 1pm, television presenter and Gastronaut Stefan Gates takes you on an unforgettable, explosive edible adventure exploring the bizzare science behind our food. Billed as a family show like no other, expect vortex cannons, explosions, glowing drinks, edible chemical reactions and colour-changing cocktails in an hilarious and educational show. Tickets are £5 and must be booked in advance at

Rochdale’s M6 Theatre Company will tour local secondary schools as well as stage a public performance of ‘The Storm,’ at Number One Riverside on Saturday 4 December, their powerful live theatre production that creatively confronts the climate emergency. You can book free tickets at


Rochdale’s M6 Theatre Company will present their powerful live theatre production that creatively confronts the climate emergency
Rochdale’s M6 Theatre Company will present their powerful live theatre production that creatively confronts the climate emergency


Skylight Circus stage their new production ‘Mammoth’, combining acrobatics, music and stunning lighting effects to tell a thought provoking story about the big climate issues including extinction and protection of our natural environment.

There will be a spectacular production called Global Circus performed beneath ‘Gaia’ by Skylight Circus Arts. Animated with specially commissioned music it will be presented live by a local group of asylum seekers and refugees.

As well as these family friendly events, lots more activities will be delivered in the borough’s schools during Gaia’s stay in Rochdale.

Councillor Sue Smith, cabinet member for communities and co-operation at Rochdale Borough Council said: "Gaia is uniquely inspiring and seeing it up close in Number One Riverside is going to be amazing. The activities that will run during Gaia’s stay in Rochdale around the themes of sustainability, lifecycles and looking after the environment, are something we can all relate to. It will be an opportunity to give visitors a new perspective of our place on the planet and for children and their families, a lot of fun too.”


Gaia, the stunning replica of planet Earth
Gaia, the stunning replica of planet Earth


The exhibition and supporting events are being staged in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council and Your Trust (formerly Link4Life), supported financially by the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Visiting Gaia is free and no booking is required, although some special events do require advance booking. Find out more at

The name Gaia comes from Greek mythology, meaning the personification of the Earth.

Gaia is created in partnership with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Bluedot and the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres. With supporting partners Culture Liverpool and Liverpool Cathedral.

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