Sample press release:
The cosmos constantly changes. Stars are born, live out their lives, and die - sometimes calmly, sometimes explosively. Galaxies form, grow, and collide dramatically. A new exhibition and website developed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service; reveal the dynamic and evolving universe through breathtaking photographs and informative captions.
"The Evolving Universe" explores how the stars, galaxies and universe undergo the same stages as life on Earth: from birth, to maturity and, eventually, to death. This remarkable journey from present-day Earth to the far reaches of space and time will be on view at [your venue] from [date] through [date], and will then continue to travel on an exciting sixteen city tour through 2017.
A worldwide audience also can experience the exhibition through its website, located at www.mnh.si.edu/exhibits/evolving-universe. All of the images featured in the museum gallery can be downloaded in high-resolution jpegs or PDFs formatted in poster size.
Visitors to the exhibition or website can choose one of two paths to explore the cosmos. They can begin close to home with our solar system and move outward to the farthest reaches of the universe. Or they can begin 13.7 billion years ago at the moment of the Big Bang and move forward in time to the present day. Along their journey they will learn how a variety of telescopes and instruments, many developed by SAO, reveal the fascinating history of the expanding universe.
In addition to telescopic images from space, researchers are actively investigating microscopic images of meteorites found on Earth. Their composition reveals what changes have taken place in the universe during the passage of billions of years while the Earth was still in formation, well before humans even existed. All of the elements—the raw materials that make up everything in the universe, including the Earth and human bodies—are formed within stars and released into space when stars die. Visitors may be surprised to learn that their bodies are composed of this stardust and will be able to see an example of interstellar diamond dust found in a meteorite in 1969. This will join the compelling visuals and epic stories of supernovas, stellar nurseries, nebulae and galaxy clusters that reveal the fascinating history of the expanding universe.
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for over 60 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. Exhibition descriptions and tour schedules are available at www.sites.si.edu.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, located on 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C., welcomes more than 6 million visitors annually. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about the museum, visit it at www.mnh.si.edu and on Facebook, Twitter (hash tag #nmnh), YouTube and Flickr or call (202) 633-1000, TTY (202) 633-5286.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College ObservSatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.