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'Alien Earths' Has Opened At Yale Peabody Museum



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‘Alien Earths’ Has Opened At Yale Peabody Museum

NEW HAVEN — Where do we come from?  Are we alone in the universe?

To try to answer these age-old questions NASA began its 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.

In “Alien Earths,” at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, visitors can join the search for planets around distant stars and for life beyond Earth. Guests can also learn about the technology and methods scientists are using to search our galactic neighborhood in four interrelated sections with interactive components and multimedia presentations: “Our Place in Space,” “Star Birth,” “Planet Quest” and “The Search for Life.”

With hands-on and multi-media components the exhibition allows visitors 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 microbes, the most abundant life form on Earth, and possibly elsewhere; smell the difference between various microbial colonies; and listen to sounds from space and find out what signals from intelligent beings might sound like.

The search for distant planets and life beyond Earth requires enormous creativity. Through hands-on interactive components, visitors to “Alien Earths” learn about the methods and technology that scientists use to search for planets and signs of life. The exhibition will remain on view until May 6.

The exhibition was created by and travels under the direction of The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), an organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science among increasingly diverse audiences. ASTC’s headquarters are in Washington, D.C.

Museum admission is $7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, $5 for ages 3-18 and students with ID, and free for toddlers.

The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is at 170 Whitney Avenue. Call 203-432-5050 or visit Peabody.Yale.edu for additional information including special events.

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