Prof Caroline Smith, Head of Collections in Earth Sciences, and 8 year old Easha Rasalingham, from Princes Gardens school, holding a piece of the Nakhla meteorite from Mars in-front of Luke Jerram’s Mars artwork on display at the Natural History Museum

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Natural History Museum celebrates Mars Day 2022

The Natural History Museum is to host Luke Jerram’s Mars artwork to celebrate Mars Day 2022. Mars day, organized by ESERO-UK (the UK’s Space Education Office), STEM Learning, the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, celebrates the 6th anniversary of the launch of the first ExoMars mission and NASA’s Perseverance rover exploring Mars for just over a year.

Scientists from the museum regularly work in the field of space exploration and Mars research with NASA and colleagues from the European Space Agency. Current projects including working with NASA on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover and ESA's ExoMars mission utilising our world-leading meteorite collection.

Prof Caroline Smith, Head of Earth Sciences Collections and Principal Curator of Meteorites at the Natural History Museum, says, ‘The Museum is an innovative global science leader and as such we’re thrilled to be part of Mars Day 2022.

‘The red planet has the ability to inspire and engage people with space so having Luke Jerram’s incredible artwork center stage in our very own Hintze Hall is a wonderful opportunity for us.

I hope people will enjoy a chance to get a close-up view of the Martian surface and I would encourage them to join in with Museum and Mars Day events to learn more about our red neighbour.’

This year Mars Day falls on 14 March with Mars hour at 11:00 that day, both being part of the larger Mars week. On March 14th and 15th visitors to the Museum will be greeted by Luke Jerram’s seven-meter-wide art installation of Mars, created using NASA photography of the red planet's surface.

Artist Luke Jerram said, 'The artwork allows us to view Mars from the air. Every valley, crater, volcano and mountain is laid bare for us to inspect. The artwork transports us to this desert wasteland, to imagine what it's like to step foot on this incredible planet.’

Consisting of a series of largely online events the hope is that Mars Day will be an opportunity for people to learn more about the red planet. To tie in with the festivities the Museum will host a series of virtual and in person events for schools and other audiences:

  • School event: Mission to Mars: LEGO® Explorers Workshop: Weekdays, 10.30AM, 12.30PM GMT Design, create and code a Martian rover using LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 robotics sets in this hands-on workshop.
  • School event: Virtual Meet the Scientist: 15 March 2022, 11.15AM-12.00PM and 1.45PM - 2.30PM GMT Join an online talk hosted by a science communicator who will interview one of the scientists who studies Mars at the Museum.
  • Public event: Online Talk: The NASA Mars 2020 Mission: 14 March 2022, 17:45PM – 18:25PM GMT For the first time ever top UK scientists involved in NASA's Mars 2020 Mission will come together and give an anniversary update on the mission.

Luke Jerram’s Mars will be on display in Hintze Hall on the 14th and 15th of March and will be free to see. We recommend booking free tickets to visit the Museum before coming here. Find out more about other events happening at the Museum and online here.

Notes to editors

Natural History Media contact: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654 / 07799690151 Email:  

Images available to download here.

Luke Jerram’s Mars is co-commissioned by Kunsthal KAdE, Netherlands; UK Space Agency; Science and Technology Facilities Council, UK and UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres, with supporting partner University of Bristol.

The artwork is made from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data.

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.