From 2-24 February 2019, Gaia was presented indoors at W5.

“I wanted to attempt to give the public the opportunity to see the Earth as a sphere, floating in the darkness of space. I hope to convey the fragility and beauty of our planet – our only home.” said Luke 

The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. It is the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of the Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, “hanging in the void”, shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative.

Astronauts Ron GaranRusty SchweikartEdgar Mitchell Tom Jones, Scott Kelly James Irwin Mike Massimino and Chris Hadfield are all reported to have experienced the effect. Third-party observers of these individuals may also report a noticeable difference in attitude.

The term and concept were coined in 1987 by Frank White, who explored the theme in his book The Overview Effect — Space Exploration and Human Evolution (Houghton-Mifflin, 1987)


W5 is Ireland’s award-winning Science & Discovery centre. With over 250 amazing interactive exhibits in four incredible exhibition areas, W5 provides a unique experience as well as fantastic fun for visitors of all ages.

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