ann1011 - Announcement

Ancient Starlight Meets Space-age Technology

Hubble exhibition and laser installation comes to the heart of historic Venice

14 September 2010

The European Space Agency, NASA and the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti present The Hubble Space Telescope: Twenty Years at the Frontier of Science, a month-long exhibition of photos and artefacts from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, in their beautiful and historic Palazzo Loredan, will play host to the event, which runs from 16 September to 15 October and coincides with a major international scientific conference on Hubble in October.

The exhibition features many of the breathtaking photos that have made Hubble famous over the past 20 years, alongside detailed explanations. Also featured are exhibits associated with the five space shuttle missions that visited Hubble to install upgrades and make repairs between 1993 and 2009. This part of the exhibition includes tools and equipment used by the astronauts as they carried out their difficult work hundreds of kilometres from Earth.

The exhibition is as a major ‘retrospective’ after more than 20 years of operation of Hubble, one of the greatest and most important scientific instruments ever. Not only has Hubble been pivotal in the development of astronomy and astrophysics but, because of the natural appeal of its products — mainly the wonderful colour images — the telescope has become a public icon of science with a name recognition which has been absorbed deeply into public culture.

The exhibition overlaps with a scientific conference that reviews the wealth of past discoveries and also looks forward to Hubble’s future scientific promise. Thanks to recent upgrades, Hubble’s “discovery potential” is enormously greater than it was at the time of launch.

The exhibit will present some of the best (and best-known) of the Hubble pictures as beautiful large prints and back-lit transparencies. It will also show tools and equipment used by the astronauts who have re-visited Hubble in orbit five times since its launch in April 1990. Part of one of the European Space Agency’s solar arrays used in the early years to power the spacecraft will also be on display.

The exhibition will be celebrated with an amazing laser installation created by artist Tim Otto Roth, who specialises in exploring the frontier between art and science. For the period of the exhibition, the exterior of the neighbouring Palazzo Franchetti will be illuminated every evening by a scanning green laser and an image projector to show signals “from the distant past” originating from the primordial Universe. The light show will appear abstract to the casual viewer, but it is, in fact, based on data from scientific observations made by Hubble.

The light will represent the spectra (distribution of brightness and colour) and the corresponding images of distant galaxies taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Never seen in public before, these observations represent the very limits of our knowledge of the distant Universe today. The installation, beside the Academia Bridge over the Grand Canal, will run from sunset on every evening of the exhibition. Interested passers-by will be led to an explanation of the science behind the installation within the exhibition at the Palazzo Loredan, which is the home of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti.

A detailed, illustrated brochure for the exhibition and art installation is available online as a PDF and in hard copy from the Palazzo Loredan. This includes explanatory text on the exhibits in English and Italian.

More information

The exhibition is held at:

Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti
Campo S. Stefano 2945
30124, Venice Italy

Opening hours: 10:00–17:00
16 September–15 October 2010

Free entrance, guided tours: Friday and Saturday (Italian and English)

Links

Contacts

Antonella Nota
ESA/Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
USA
Tel: +1-410-338-4700

Bob Fosbury
Head of Space Telescope – European Coordinating Facility
European Southern Observatory
Karl Schwarzschild Straße 2
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49-89-3200-6235
Email: rfosbury@eso.org

Mario Livio
Space Telescope Science Institute
3700 San Martin Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218
USA
Tel: +1-410-338-4700

Tom Griffin
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Public Inquiries
Mail Code 130
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
USA
Tel: +1-301-286-2000
Email: thomas.j.griffin@nasa.gov

Tim Otto Roth
Bahnhostr.1 D-77728 Oppenau i. Schw.
Tel: +49-7804-574
Fax +49-321-21250438
Email: tor@imachination.net

Oli Usher
Junior ESA/Hubble Public Information Officer
European Southern Observatory
Karl Schwarzschild Straße 2
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49-89-3200-6855
Email: ousher@eso.org

About the Announcement

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Images

“The Hubble Space Telescope: Twenty Years at the Frontier of Science” exhibition
“The Hubble Space Telescope: Twenty Years at the Frontier of Science” exhibition
From the distant past
From the distant past
Hubble direct and grism observations
Hubble direct and grism observations

Videos

From the distant past
From the distant past

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