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23ft-wide replica of Earth hangs in Peterborough Cathedral

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth and visitors to Peterborough Cathedral can now feel one step closer to his work as they worship beneath a 23-ft wide replica of our planet.

First Rochester Cathedral opened a golf course, then Norwich followed suit with a 55ft-tall helter skelter and now Peterborough has outdone its rivals with a replica of the Earth. 

Measuring some seven metres in diameter, 'Gaia' features accurate and detailed NASA imagery of the Earth's surface and offers the opportunity to see it floating in three-dimensions.  

By standing 211m away from the artwork - named after the Greek goddess Gaia, the personification of the Earth - the public will be able to see the planet as it appears from the moon. 

Measuring some seven metres in diameter, 'Gaia' features 120dpi detailed NASA imagery of the Earth's surface and offers the opportunity to see it floating in three-dimensions

Gaia, a 23ft replica of planet earth hangs on display inside Peterborough Cathedral

The large installation, created by British artist Luke Jerram, features accurate and detailed imagery from NASA

The stunning installation is 1.8 million times smaller than the Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth's surface. 

The touring artwork, by UK artist Luke Jerram, is accompanied by a composition by BAFTA award winning Composer Dan Jones. 

Last year, Mr Jerram created a replica of the Moon which hung in the cathedral.  

Mr Jerram said: 'I hope visitors to Gaia get to see the Earth as if from space; an incredibly beautiful and precious place. An ecosystem we urgently need to look after – our only home.

'Halfway through the Earth's six mass extinction, we urgently need to wake up, and change our behaviour. We need to quickly make the changes necessary, to prevent run away Climate Change.

'I was amazed and delighted that my Museum of the Moon artwork has been so popular. I'm fully aware that three million members of the public haven't been coming to see an artwork by 'Luke Jerram' but rather 'the Moon'; an object of universal appeal and cultural significance. 

'With this Gaia Earth artwork, I'm interested in just how different the experience and interpretation is. For our entire human existence we have been gazing up at the moon and projecting all our hopes, dreams and wishes up there. Whereas it was only in 1968 that we were able to see our planet floating in space. '   

The stunning installation is 1.8 million times smaller than the Earth with each centimetre of the internally lit sculpture describing 18km of the Earth's surface

Choristers from Holy Trinity Church Coventry rehearse for evensong as Gaia, a 23ft replica of planet earth hangs on display

Earlier this month, Norwich Cathedral installed a 55ft-tall helter skelter in its nave in order to give visitors a better view of its medieval roof.

The funfair ride has a viewing platform at 40ft, allowing riders closer to Norwich Cathedral's 69ft-high roof - if they are willing to part with £2-per-slide.

Dean of Peterborough, the Very Rev Chris Dalliston added: 'I'd like to invite anyone who comes to see it, to spend time reflecting on the beauty of the Earth and the wonderfully rich, but fragile, planet we inhabit.' 

And in June, Rochester Cathedral in Kent turned the central aisle into a nine-hole crazy golf course in a bid to attract more children through its doors. 

Last year, Mr Jerram created a replica of the Moon which hung in the cathedral, created using thousands of NASA satellite images

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