New Original Exhibit Promotes Earth and Space Science Through Hands-On Displays

Permanent Display Begins on September 25, 2010

Orlando, FL - September 20, 2010 - Our Planet, Our Universe is an original exhibit on astronomy and earth science, developed by the Orlando Science Center, which premieres as part of the Science Center’s permanent collection on September 25. The exhibit is a combination of new interactive experiences and classic favorites that provide hands-on exploration of the dynamic forces that shape our planet and our universe.

In addition, the Science Center has partnered with WFTV Channel 9 to create the Severe Weather Center 9 interactive exhibit experience, which will be displayed within Our Planet, Our Universe. This exhibit, presented by WFTV Channel 9, is a replica of the station’s weather center that is seen on television. This display was fabricated by the FX Group, the same designers that put together WFTV's actual weather center. Interactive multimedia presentations featuring WFTV’s Chief Meteorologist, Tom Terry, and the Channel 9 weather team explore the skills and technology at work to predict severe storms.

From cosmic collisions to black holes, visitors will investigate themes like "Earth Wind and Sky", "Planets and Portals", and "Gravity, Waves and Warp"s. They will engage in numerous hands-on activities, including experiencing firsthand the Doppler effect by walking between two speakers and hearing how sound compresses and expands to illustrate the effect. Classic displays like the Hurricane and Tornado Simulator and the Gravity Well have been transplanted from the popular Science Park exhibit to be seen as they relate to Earth Science concepts. The dramatic visual presentations of Science on a Sphere have also been incorporated into Our Planet, Our Universe. Using a six-foot suspended sphere and state-of-the-art projection technology, Science on a Sphere enables audiences to view satellite weather imagery as well as view stunning, detailed images of planets provided by NASA. Other topics that will be explored through interactive displays, include:

Aeolian Landscapes: Where art meets science as visitors manipulate fans to discover how the force of wind can shift sand into spectacular dune shapes and patterns.

Blue Sky: Find out why our sky is blue through manipulation of different filters in front of a light source through a medium.

Ask An Astronomer: This interactive video kiosk features short and entertaining answers by the astronomers at the Spitzer Space Science Center. Find out the answers to questions such as “what will happen to the sun?” or “why don’t we have 2 moons?”  

Tonight’s Sky: This NASA software program is automatically updated every month to show stars, constellations and other objects visible over our local night sky.

Warping Space: Visitors manipulate “stars” and “planets” along a flexible flat plane that represents a 2-D universe to see how different masses warp space into three dimensions and discover how gravity is warping space.

Other interactives will be added in the near future to further expand the informal science learning and hands-on discovery within this exhibit. Our Planet, Our Universe is included with general admission to the Orlando Science Center, which is $17 for adults and $12 for kids (ages 3-11). Tickets also provide access to live science shows, giant screen films and all four floors of interactive exhibits, including the new Get the Message communications display plus favorites like KidsTown, NatureWorks, and Science Park. For more information, please call 407-514-2000.

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