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Looking Up

Just Right for Life

Before beginning your tour of life on Earth, start by Looking Up. Where does our planet sit in the Milky Way Galaxy, in the Laniakea supercluster, in the vast mass of the universe? Then consider, how Earth is just right for life. What variables make it possible? What features of the sun, the moon, and the atmosphere provide conditions just right for life?

Earthly Defender

Watch out for the dangerous dust! Check out what micrometeorites – as fine as a grain of dust – can do to a spacecraft. Then consider why Earth is not destroyed by bits of rock flying through space, ultraviolet radiation, or plasma blasts from the sun. For that, you can thank a quiet little protective shield we call the atmosphere. Without that bubble of gas, it would be “Bye, bye life.”

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

In the Right Stuff interactive, the fate of the planet can be altered by working the controls to change the size of the sun and the distance from the moon. The goal of this interactive is to manipulate the variables to put Earth in the Habitable Zone, where plants and animals can survive.

Stand in Awe

Pause by a wall full of stars, and you will be surprised at how much there is to learn in all that beauty. Learn how 3,000 new galaxies were discovered thanks to one curious scientist. Consider how no other known corner of the universe has the necessary temperature, tides, energy, elements, atmosphere, air, gravity, gas, heat, or humidity . . . the right conditions for life!

Highlights include:

  • A touchable meteorite you can lift
  • A slide-and-see activity which showcases Earth's layers
  • A zoomable view into deep space

Fun Fact:

One day on the moon is equal to almost a month on Earth.