"Cosmic Questions" Comes to 'Imiloa
Release No.: 
For Release: 
Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 8:00pm

Cosmic Questions, a national traveling exhibition created by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), has found a permanent home at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai'i in Hilo. The exhibition will open to the public starting in late Fall 2007.

"There is no place in the world like 'Imiloa," said Charles Alcock, director of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which includes SAO. "It is appropriate for our exhibit to cap its national tour and begin a new life there - at a new, state-of-the-art facility that works directly with 13 world-class observatories on the summit of Maunakea, where the sky is astonishingly clear and dark. The Cosmic Questions exhibition, like 'Imiloa, aims to show that the wonders of the universe aren't just for scientists. The stars are within reach for everyone."

"We are proud to bring these types of quality attractions to the state," said Peter Giles, executive director at 'Imiloa. "Cosmic Questions has traveled around the country and will come to stay at 'Imiloa. Astronomy is important to share because it allows you to reach for the stars, exploring a galaxy of ideas to capture your imagination."

The four areas of the exhibition offer different views. Our Place in Space starts at our Milky Way galaxy and travels outward to find out how we fit into the universe. Observing the Universe is a hands-on section that allows visitors to explore the universe using tools from both land-based and space-borne observatories. Our Place in Time is set in the Cosmic Kitchen theater and allows visitors to reflect on the notion that our human story is intimately linked to the unfolding story of the universe. Great Mysteries is the final journey, and invites visitors to explore the mysteries of the universe including dark matter and black holes.

"Cosmic Questions: Our Place in Space and Time" was developed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory with the generous support of the National Science Foundation and NASA.

'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai'i, located on Hawai'i's Big Island, opened in February 2006. The world-class destination intertwines the Hawaiian culture and navigational understanding of the stars with real-time information direct from Maunakea's world-famous astronomy observatories. For more information, visit the web site at http://www.imiloahawaii.org or call (808) 969-9700.

This release is being issued jointly with the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai'i.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.

David A. Aguilar
Director of Public Affairs
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Christine PulliamPublic Affairs Specialist
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics