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David Harber has created an motorised orrery – a mechanical model of the solar system – to grace the courtyard outside Al Thuraya planetarium at Katara Cultural Village in Qatar.
The 2.5m orrery, held inside an armillary sphere, is made from antique tan bronze. It uses hundreds of precisely cut gears and 9 electrical motors to drive the planets on an speeded-up but accurate path around a light emitting sun.
Inside the planetarium, scale models of the planets ranging from 2.8m down to 60cm hang through the foyer. Made of specialist high density foam that is both light and strong, the surfaces of the planets were then artist-airbrush painted onto a gel coating.