SYDNEY. The Powerhouse Museum
will take visitors on a breathtaking journey through our galaxy and beyond with From Earth to the Universe, an exhibition featuring extraordinary astronomical images opening on 12 September.
The exhibition showcases the beauty and mysteries of the Universe and reveals how the telescope has expanded our knowledge and vision since Italian scientist Galileo Galilei first turned his eye to one four hundred years ago.
The collection of images are based on a series of spectacular recent images of the sky collected by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, complemented by a range of Australian images emphasising our Southern Hemisphere location sourced by renowned astronomy photographer Dr David Malin.
Comprising large-scale prints and giant projections, the images have been captured using modern telescopes, often carried on Earth-orbiting satellites and using techniques that Galileo could not have imagined.
They showcase the most dramatic views of our universe, revealing fascinating physical processes as well as unexpected beauty, and represent the incredible variety of astronomical objects that are known to exist, from planets, comets and stars to nebulae, galaxies and the clusters in which they congregate.
The exhibition begins at the solar system, where visitors can explore our nearest neighbour, the Moon, as well as the Sun and the other familiar planets. The journey then reaches the realm of the Milky Way Galaxy, where the gigantic city of stars that comprises our galaxy is revealed in all its beauty through a series of panoramic projections.
Finally, visitors move on to the dark realms beyond the Milky Way to explore nearby galaxies such as Andromeda as well as galaxies located at the edge of the Universe, up to thirteen billion light years away.
Modern observations have led to exciting new concepts such as black holes, dark matter and mysterious dark energy. The eye-catching images displayed in the exhibition allow us to appreciate both the beauty and the fascination of what astronomers are revealing about the Universe, said curator of astronomy, Dr Nick Lomb.
The stunning collection of images are accompanied by astronomy-related objects from the Museums collection including an 19th century Orrery (model of the solar system), a Grubb telescope ordered by Sydney Observatory for the 1882 Transit of Venus, a model of NASAs Hubble Space Telescope and an exact replica of one of only two existing telescopes attributed to Galileo.
Galileos gilded leather presentation telescope has been replicated precisely according to the original, now located in the Institute and Museum of Science in Florence, Italy, with its carefully crafted lenses matching Galileos early 1600 optics.
From Earth to the Universe will leave visitors contemplating the beauty and wonder of the Universe in which we live and how thrilled Galileo would be if he could only know how humanitys horizons have expanded since that time four centuries ago when he first looked up with a telescope.
From Earth to the Universe is an official part of this years International Year of Astronomy celebrations.