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Life on the Edge

Discover new environments on Earth and in space! Sciencenter introduces, Life on the Edge, a new touring exhibition exploring extreme environments on Earth and expanding awareness of the possibilities for life in our Solar System and beyond. In Life on the Edge, visitors will discover that life is hidden in plain sight by exploring a colorful microbial colony, further understand the importance of our missions to Mars, learn about rover tests in the Atacama Desert, and detect what light reveals in faraway places using spectroscopy.

Life on the Edge is made possible by the support of NASA. The exhibition is produced by Sciencenter in partnership with SPIF.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Understand how microbes contribute to nutrient cycling by using a movable video microscope to investigate a bacterial colony in a Winogradsky column and discover that the world is teeming with life that is often hidden in plain sight.
  • Discovering Biosignatures: Code a rover and experience what it is like to plan a route for a rover across the Atacama Desert and scan the environment for signs of life like scientists did in preparation for the Perseverance mission.
  • Light Reveals: Understand how scientists use the transit method to learn about exoplanets by setting a kinetic model of a solar system into motion and watching while a digital display shows dips of light as exoplanets pass in front of the light source.
  • Adapted For Extremes: Explore realistic models of hydrothermal vent communities that include detailed replicas of black and white smoker vents, and discover the diversity of creatures living in the deep sea and how they survive.

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