How was the universe created?
How has it changed over time?
How do we know?
Through compelling and beautiful photographs, visitors will learn about how Smithsonian scientists study the far reaches of space and the evolution of the universe. This exhibition was developed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the National Museum of Natural History where it will be on view until July 2013. The original exhibition was funded by The Windland Smith Rice Nature’s Best Photography Fund.
We can never see the universe as it is right now, only how it was in the past. In this exhibition, visitors will journey from the here and now of Earth to beyond our galaxy, traveling back through time and out into space. The very nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, is four light years away. When we gaze at it in the sky, the light hitting our eyeballs left it four years ago, so we're seeing Alpha Centauri as it was in 2006. In this sense our telescopes are also time machines: the most distant galaxies we study are billions of light years away, and we are seeing them as they were before the Earth was formed.
Through stunning and "far out" photographs, visitors will learn how Smithsonian scientists study the far reaches of space and the evolution of the universe. The Evolving Universe is a collaboration with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the National Museum of Natural History.
It's enough to ignite feverish cosmic dreams in even the casual stargazer.
- The Washington Post, December 5, 2011
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