Hello Universe takes an interactive look at how information from the cosmos has been recorded over hundreds of years, and in particular the five decades of space exploration that followed Armstrong’s momentous ‘first step’ in 1969. Since opening in July 2019, the exhibition has attracted more than 100,000 visits across both of its galleriesand has proven to be a big family favourite.
The exhibition’s journey starts with Galileo Galilei, and his hand drawings of the moon from the 17th century. It takes in the significant role played by a Bradfordian in the 1969 moon landing story, also looking at the image and sound technologies that allow the depths of the universe to be explored in greater detail than ever before.
Exhibition curator, Annie Jamieson said: “Throughout history there’s evidence of humankind’s fascination with the moon and stars, which has led us to today’s exploration of the furthest reaches of our solar system and beyond. This exhibition looks at the incredible technology that’s been developed to allow us to see, hear and even smell space, as well as offering families the chance to interact with out-of-this-world demonstrations and activities.”
Galileo was one of the first people to view the moon through a telescope, making highly detailed drawings of what he saw. These are on display in an original copy of his 1610 book Starry Messenger.
The exhibition goes on to focus on arguably the highlight of human lunar activity, the 1969 Apollo 11 flight and moon landing, and specifically how technology was developed to transmit live pictures a quarter-of-a-million miles back to earth. It includes the role of Mike Dinn, born and educated in Bradford, West Yorkshire, who emigrated to Australia and played a significant part in this event. In 1969 he was Deputy Director at the Honeysuckle Creek communications station in Canberra, the facility which received the images of Armstrong’s historic moment and made them available for broadcast across the earth’s TV networks.
Also featured are a range of objects related to space travel from the 1960s to the present day, from the personal collection of Mark Wrigley from Sheffield, a trustee of the Institute of Physics. His interest in science and technology stemmed from watching the 1969 event live on television as a schoolboy. He filmed the screen with a Super 8 camera, in the days before domestic TV recording technology existed, and this footage will also be displayed alongside items of memorabilia.
Displays include a half-size scale model (2.3m x 1m) of Viking, NASA’s first Mars lander, and the latest, most detailed images of the cosmos projected onto a 5m x 3m screen, giving families the chance to journey through the solar system and beyond, looking at the ways stars and planets are viewed and understood. Visitors can also have a go at sketching the moon based on Galileo’s famous drawings, find out more about this activity on the museum blog.
To find out more about the exhibition, please visit: www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/hello-universe