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The awesome power, beauty and dark side of the sun is revealed in a major new exhibition.

From beautiful early Nordic Bronze Age artefacts that reveal ancient beliefs as to how the sun was transported across the sky, to details of upcoming NASA and ESA solar missions, this exhibition charts humankind's dependence upon and ever-changing understanding of our star.

Animations, archive recordings and film bring to life a unique collection of scientific instruments, technological innovations and historic artefacts. Highlights include the original orrery made for the Earl of Orrery in 1712 to demonstrate the motions of the earth and moon around the sun, and an ancient Babylonian tablet containing one of the first references to spots on the sun's surface.

The exhibition looks at the ongoing work to recreate the nuclear reactions that power the sun here on earth, and examines how scientists are developing ways to predict the next potentially damaging solar storm.

Visitors are able to bask in the sun while sitting in deck chairs under palm trees in one of several unique interactive experiences. A huge illuminated wall display shows the sun rising in different seasons and different locations around the world, and a digital mirror lets visitors virtually try on a range of sunglasses from the Science Museum collection.

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