The Museum of Flight in Seattle invited me to create an original space art mural for their expanded space exhibit scheduled to open to the public in June 2007.
Destined to be the main backdrop to the planetary exploration section of the exhibit, the mural depicted the solar system in its latest configuration as defined in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union. As such, the mural would include the eight classical planets together with the three known, and newly classified dwarf planets (Ceres, Pluto,and Eris).
The completed mural featured prominently in the exhibit, serving as context for exhibits such as the Viking Mars lander and the Voyager interplanetary probe. The digital image was printed to a size of 16-feet tall by 8-feet wide, stretching most of the height of the cavernous gallery. The planets were shown to scale, with Jupiter spanning 5-feet wide.
The exhibit, together with its solar system mural, stood for ten years (2007 to 2017) until it was replaced with an exhibit focusing on the Apollo program. During that time, visitors to the Seattle area had the chance to enjoy this artwork of astronomical proportions in person. All they had to do was "planet" in their schedule.
Texture maps courtesy of NASA, JPL-Caltech, NOAA, USGS, James Hastings-Trew, Björn Jónsson, and Tor Øra