Bristol Balloon Fiesta

The Museum of the Moon was scheduled to be presented by co-commissioning partners Bristol Balloon Fiesta and At-Bristol Science Centre.  Beneath the moon the public could listen on headphones to the new Lunar composition by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones. A series of educational activities and events were also run by At-Bristol over the weekend.

Unfortunately due to a technical malfunction, the Moon had to be taken down at the beginning of the Fiesta.


If you missed the Museum of the Moon at the Fiesta, don’t worry as the artwork may well be popping up in other areas of Bristol (Luke’s home town) over time.

Bristol and the Moon 

The tidal range of the rivers in the Bristol Channel is the second greatest of any in the world (the biggest is the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada). At Avonmouth the tide can rise and fall as much as 14 metres twice a day and even in Bristol the water level can change as much as 12 metres.

The floating harbour in Bristol was built in the early 1800’s to prevent the effects of this extreme tidal variation.


The Man in the Moon

Here in the Northern hemisphere, in the western world we can see a face, or man in the Moon. The images are actually composed of the dark areas of the lunar maria, or “seas” and the lighter highlands of the lunar surface. These vast, flat spots on the moon are called “maria” or “seas” because, for a long time, astronomers believed they were large bodies of water. They are actually large areas formed by lava that covered up old craters and then cooled, becoming smooth, basalt rock.

There are various explanations for how the Man in the Moon came to be. A longstanding European tradition holds that the man was banished to the moon for some crime. Christian lore commonly held that he is the man described in the bible (book of Numbers XV.32-36), caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath and sentenced by God to death by stoning.

There is also a traditional belief that the Man in the Moon enjoyed drinking, especially claret. An old ballad runs (original spelling):

Our man in the moon drinks clarret,
With powder-beef, turnep, and carret.
If he doth so, why should not you
Drink until the sky looks blew?

In the English Middle Ages and renaissance, the moon was held to be the god of drunkards, and at least three London taverns were named “The Man in the Moone”

Find out more here.



Bristol-Balloon-Fiesta   at_bristol