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Description Itinerary Walkthrough

Alien Earths : Sailboats
Alien Earths : A visitor blocks the glare of a bright light, representing a star, in order to view the objects around it.
Copyright Space Science Institute
Alien Earths
Where did we come from? Are we alone? These age-old questions form the basis of NASA's Origins Program, a series of missions spanning the next 20 years in which scientists will use space- and ground-based observatories to understand the origin and development of galaxies, stars, planets, and the conditions necessary to support life. Like the search for distant planets, the search for life beyond Earth requires enormous creativity. More than 100 planets have now been identified outside our solar system, but no one has yet found evidence of life on those worlds or elsewhere in space.

Alien Earths, developed by the Space Science Institute, in Boulder, Colorado, presents origins-related research and discoveries to students and the general public. Visitors to the exhibition will join the search for planets around distant stars and for life beyond Earth, and will learn about the technology and methods scientists are using to search our galactic neighborhood.

Alien Earths addresses several basic questions that scientists ponder:
  • How does what we know about life on Earth inform the search for life beyond Earth?
  • Are we more likely to find intelligent life in space, or microbes?
  • How does life alter its environment?
  • How can we learn about a distant planet’s habitability from just a few pixels of light? When searching for signs of intelligent life, what should we look or listen for?
The exhibition comprises four interrelated clusters of interactive components and multimedia presentations: Our Place in Space, Star Birth, Planet Quest, and the Search for Life. Visitors are able to
  • Compare the life cycle of our Sun to other stars
  • Set planets in motion around a star and watch what happens
  • Experiment with an infrared camera and ordinary objects
  • Feel the difference in density between three known planets
  • Explore the methods used to search for extrasolar planets
  • Learn about the most abundant life form on Earth, and possibly elsewhere—microbes
  • Smell the difference between various microbial colonies
  • Listen to sounds from space and find out what signals from intelligent beings might sound like.
Educational materials and programs include:
Self-directed and facilitated activities
Staff training workshops
Electronic guided tour
Informal Science Knowledge Database Alien Earths Online

Funding for the Alien Earths project has been provided by the National Science Foundation and the Kepler, Navigator, and Spitzer NASA missions. Additional support comes from the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the Space Telescope Science Institute, and SETI Institute.

Alien Earths : Ball Floaters
Alien Earths : Visitors to the exhibition will join the search for planets around distant stars and for life beyond Earth, and will learn about the technology and methods scientists are using to search our galactic neighborhood.
Copyright Space Science Institute


Components Requirements Cost Shipping

Pressure Ball
Stellar Life Cycle
Mission Invisible
View Space Theater
Design a Solar System
Planet Densities
Planet Models
Our Solar System
Alien Earth News
Other Worlds
Planet Transit
Coronagraph
Planet Wobble
Life Scanner
Microbial World
Biomass
Sensing Life
Waterworld
Life's Chances
Looking for Life
Listening for Life
 

3,100 square feet

14-foot ceilings suggested,
minimum 10 feet

$40,000 member;

$45,000 nonmember
for a 12-week booking
2 vans

Description Itinerary Walkthrough

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