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.
27 March 2013
Posted in Our Planet, Our Universe
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!
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.