Our Solar System
Just as the name implies, the Solar System is a multifaceted system that encompasses an array of celestial bodies orbiting around the sun. A visit into the Adler Planetarium museum showcases these bodies displayed in a state-of-the-art facility. A theatre show ushers viewers with the rubric ‘Welcome to the Universe,’ commencing with a view of a blackened night sky thanks to a range of military-grade projectors.
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It is of note that the show features a live presenter who guides the viewers on how to locate the fundamental celestial landmarks. A walk into the Solar System room gives one a first-hand experience of how it feels like to be in space. A view of the eight planets together with their specific features agrees with the theoretical explanation. For instance, the planet Saturn is displayed as the second largest and is surrounded by rings. An array of telescopes in the outer space viewing the Solar System shows how the pictures of these bodies are taken. Moreover, the System is donned with meteors and asteroids.
A reflection of a theoretical explanation of the Solar System reveals a true picture of the same, as displayed in the exhibition. It shows that the terrestrial planets, including Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, are the smaller planets. On the contrary, the outer four planets are large and they are surrounded by planetary rings, a composite of dust and minute objects. Jupiter is the largest of all the planets followed by Saturn. The exhibition displays the planet Saturn as having numerous and beautiful rings just like it is being depicted in the literature. It is noteworthy that these planets are displayed so that they lie on a flat plane (an ecliptic plane) just like it has been explained in the literature. The Sun is the largest body and lies at the centre of the Solar System (Johnson 1).
I chose the Solar System since I wanted to know if the exhibit captures all the important features that are mentioned in the literature.
Shoot for the Moon
A ‘Shoot for the Moon’ is a revelation of the first maiden journey to space by the Americans in the 1960s. Featured in the exhibition is the Gemini 12 spacecraft, exhibited with an all-time state-of-the-art technology. This was the last type of this series, launched on November 11, 1966, from Cape Canaveral. The visitors of the museum are invited to a Lunar Danger Training Lab to experience at first hand what it feels like to be on the Moon.
One experiences a ‘Lunar Leap’ and eventual ‘Touch Down’ on the moon. Alex, a robot, exhibits a series of tests performed on astronauts before they are deemed fit for survival on the surface of the Moon. It is of note that the exhibition is surrounded by artifacts that include “an Apollo 8 in-flight suit, Apollo 13 helmet and gloves, Lovell’s visual acuity test card from Gemini 7, and original flight plans and manuals flown on the Gemini 12 mission” (Pearlman 2).
Jim Lovell tells about the initial American journeys into space way back in the 1960s. Lovell shares his personal experiences and the series of setbacks that nearly hampered his ambition of space exploration. His perseverance allowed him to accomplish four spaceflight missions and ultimately travel to the Moon twice. The Adler Planetarium creates insights of these flights when Lovell and his shipmates explored space using Gemini 12. As such, the visitors get the feeling of how risky Lovell’s mission was in his quest to comprehend space science.
Vitally, my choice for this exhibit is owed to the fact that I have passion for space science and I dream of exploring the space in future.
Johnson, Steve. It’s a new, sparkling ‘Universe’ at Adler Planetarium. New York: Penguin, 2012. Print.
Pearlman, Robert. Adler Planetarium: Jim Lovell/Shoot for the Moon. Houston: TX, 1999. Print.