Exhibit Hall

Now Open on Level 4

For centuries, the mysteries of space have captured our imagination and inspired us to look ever further into the cosmos. Now, the Orlando Science Center invites you to begin your exploration at Our Planet, Our Universe, a new permanent exhibit that takes a fascinating look at space as well as elements found right here on Earth.

An original exhibit on astronomy and earth science, Our Planet, Our Universe explores the strange, curious, and odd peculiarities of the universe and our place in it. Discover the dynamic forces and systems that shape our Earth, as well as other planets and discover the latest information about our solar system. New experiences include computer-based interactives and visuals, including images direct from the NASA/Hubble Space Telescope, and hands-on exhibits that explore some strange - and some familiar - phenomena.

The exhibit is divided into distinct areas that explore earth and space - here are a few of the hands-on exhibits you'll encounter:

 

Earth, Wind & Sky

  • Aeolian Landscapes: Lets 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.
  • Mars Rover: Guide a to the planetary rover over an 8’diameter simulated Martian terrain Takes the controls of the rover to move and pick up rock samples with its robotic arm while your friend watches the images the rover camera reveals.

 

Planets & Portals

  • Ask An Astronomer: interactive video kiosk featuring short, lively and entertaining answers by the astronomers at the Spitzer Space Science Center.
  • Cosmic Collisions: See what happens when galaxies collide through an interactive kiosk.
  • Tonight’s Sky: What will I see if I look up at the night sky tonight?  This software program from NASA is automatically updated every month to show appropriate stars, constellations and other objects playing on a large screen TV.

 

Gravity, Waves & Warps

  • No Sound in Space: Hear what happens when you start an alarm bell, then pump out the air. Can sound waves move through the vacuum of space?
  • Black Holes Quiz: Explore the strange and unique phenomena surrounding black holes. Take a journey into a black hole, or find out more at the black hole encyclopedia. 
  • Warping Space: Manipulate ‘stars’ and ‘planets’ along a 2D universe to see how different space can warp into 3 dimensions.

 

 

NASA scientists have broken the record for the smallest planet beyond our solar system! The newly-found planet, Kepler 37b, is rocky and only slightly larger than our moon at a mere 3865 kilometers in diameter. It is hellishly hot—it’s so close to its host star that it has a 13-day orbit. This planet may be tiny, but it’s making a big splash in the realms of science!

 

1382364 galaxy landscape

 

Kepler 37b’s host star, Kepler 37, is one of about 150,000 stars being watched by the space-based Kepler Observatory every minute of every day. The mission was launched in 2009 to look for Earth-sized planets positioned in “habitable zones” where liquid water, believed to be necessary for life, can exist on their surfaces. In the beginning, the Kepler team could only find large planets similar in size to Jupiter and Neptune. However, the recent success in finding small planets like Kepler 37b is indicative of amazing technological achievements.

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As citizens living in a constantly expanding universe, it is very important to understand not only how it works, but also, how it originated. Today, scientists around the world are examining particles that are evidence of the main matter from which everything we know around us emerged and obtained a certain mass.

Last summer, scientists announced the finding of a particle that could very well be a Higgs boson particle (or God Particle). This particle was found in the world’s largest high-energy particle accelerator called Large Hadron Collider (LHC) located near Switzerland.

Further studies indicate that this particle is, in fact, a Higgs boson particle. The Higgs boson is an elementary particle of nature discovered by the European Organization of Nuclear Research (CERN) which explains the presence of mass and symmetry in the fundamental particles of the universe.

Scientists will continue to study the particle to finitely determine that the Higgs Field exists, which will allow science to explain how universe really works.

higgsboson



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With millions of galaxies and planets throughout the universe, do you believe in the possibility of life elsewhere?

NASA researchers recently discovered large amounts of water ice and possible organic compounds on Mercury, suggesting the raw materials necessary for life may be more common than scientists believed.

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft announced on Nov. 29, 2012 that Mercury contains more than 100 billion tons of water ice near its poles. In the dark, shadowy areas of the planet, temperatures plummet to minus 370 degrees Fahrenheit (188 degrees Celsius), where much of its ice is found. But Messenger suggests even more water ice can be found in slightly warmer areas.

Mercury

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Imagine traveling into space 13 billion light-years away. What would you see? What great discoveries would you uncover? Just recently the Hubble Space Telescope captured the farthest view ever into the universe’s past, revealing thousands of unexplored galaxies billions of light-years away.

Over the last 10 years the Hubble Space Telescope has taken more than 2,000 images shot by several cameras leading up to one remarkable composite. The final image shows over 5,500 galaxies in just a tiny view. Wow! That’s a lot!

hubble

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Tatooine may be the fictional home world of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, but astronomers believe this made-up world may exist more or less. Last week, the first ever multi-planet solar system was discovered circling not one, but two stars!

These stars and its planets are more than 5,000 light-years away. The new, complete solar system with twin suns resides in the constellation Cygnus. Scientists have announced these planets as Kepler-47b and Kepler-47c. The planet in the inner most part of this solar system, Kelpler-47b, orbits the twin stars in less than 50 days. Kepler-47c, which is located on the outer most part of the solar system, takes more than 300 days to travel around the stars. It has the largest known orbit than any exoplanet.

681724main_kepler47_art_4x3_946-710

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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: gservices@osc.org
  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of power2give.org/centralflorida and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
This project is funded in part by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program. Privacy Policy • Accessibility

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