Moon Palace Has Landed

Moon Palace, our magical observatory on wheels, has made it’s maiden voyage across the streets and parks of East Leeds to begin its five month tour of the city as part of Leeds 2023 Year of Culture. The old school bus has been transformed by artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison into a captivating cosmic artwork that invites you to gaze at the skies and wonder at the vastness of our universe.

Co-produced by East Leeds Project and Leeds 2023 as part of Smeaton300, Moon Palace is inspired by Civil Engineer John Smeaton and his life long fascination with astronomy. John Smeaton’s own observatory was set up in his house in East Leeds and throughout his life he recorded his daily observations of the sky.

the interior of moon palace showing four people gazing through a telescope and reading books

Moon Palace: Charles Emerson

When you visit Moon Palace a crew of Artist and Science Hosts will welcome you onto the bus and invite you into a fantastical, multi-sensory space that often evokes the surface of an imaginary planet. And of course the bus functions as an astronomical observatory as well. Thanks to the work of students and staff from the School of Physics and Astronomy one huge and one small dome on the roof make way for a powerful telescope and a radio dish, allowing you to gaze at the moon, visualise galaxies and listen to the sounds of outer space. Oh, and there’ll also be tea in alien mugs and chats about life, the universe and everything in between.

If you think Moon Palace sounds out of this world and want to hop on board, head over to Leeds 2023 for more info about the tour.

All images: Charles Emerson
Moon Palace is an East Leeds Project and LEEDS 2023 co-production. It has been commissioned by creative duo Foxglove and LEEDS 2023 for Smeaton300 and supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.