While the hunt for life on nearby planetary bodies is thriving, our own solar system is not the limit of our study. NASA and various scientists have started looking deeper into space with new telescopes and techniques, trying to identify other galaxies and planetary systems that offer telltale signs of life.
No one really knows. Visitors here will get to ask themselves that question as they try each of the kiosks here.
Cosmic rays are tiny particles from outer space that you cannot see. Some cosmic rays are created from exploding stars called supernova. Other cosmic rays were created during the Big Bang, which scientists think was the beginning of our universe about 14 billion years ago. Cosmic rays have been traveling through the universe ever since. Usually, we cannot see these Cosmic Rays, but visitors can witness them here. The rays, when passing through alcohol vapor, cause the alcohol molecules to contract closer together, leaving visible trails behind them.
This is a fragment from a large meteorite that fell to Earth in 1969, landing in Australia. This meteorite is a fairly rare Chondrite meteorite in which a variety of organic chemicals were found. Visitors can turn the sample with a crank, and examine the sample closely under a magnifying glass. Next to the sample, a squeeze of a bottle to release the odor created by all of the chemical composition.
Visitors can play a game of deep-space detective work. This computer simulation asks users some of the questions scientists ask when looking deep into space for life. The game unfolds as users select new systems to explore- but not all of them will offer what we are looking for.
The Hubble Telescope is an amazing research tool that leverages powerul camera and optical technology to give researchers fantastic views deep into space. Floating in orbit around Earth, Hubble constantly returns image feeds that allow researchers to study remote stars and planets. Kiosks here bring the information from Hubble to life for visitors.
Simulating a view through the Hubble visitors can guide a camera over large images taken by the Telescope's powerful cameras. As the camera moves, visitors will see differences in the size and clarity of different masses, which is one way researchers identify different entities and keep track of deep space maps.
A video display presents visitors with brief but constantly updated multi-media shows that use the latest information from Hubble as the base for rich narratives about scientific study of deep space. On a daily basis, NySci receives content updates from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, allowing us to offer a brand new experience on each visit to this kiosk.