Exhibition at the Tallinn TV Tower – "The Living Universe" 18.11.2015-31.03.2016

The Living Universe
Is there life in the Universe?
- The latest discoveries in the universe
- Test your potential as an astronaut
- The mission of a moon buggy on Mars
- Gyroscope

Is humankind unique or are there other intelligent beings in the Universe? This question has piqued our interest for as long as we have been aware of our own existence. Every so often, legends and stories about aliens re-emerge in science fiction and the daily news. What we don't yet have, however, is hard scientific evidence of contact with extraterrestrial beings. Likewise, we don't have unequivocal proof that we are completely alone in the cosmos.

As science progresses, it has become increasingly clear that the laws of nature are uniform throughout the Universe, so life, being a natural phenomenon, could also be widespread in space. To better answer this question, we need to carry out rigorous scientific research – by examining the mechanics behind the origin of life and the signs indicative of it, the conditions on planets orbiting distant stars, and by developing technologies that are capable of receiving signals from extraterrestrial life, should they come along.

Astronomy, as one of the oldest branches of science, is also a study of history and a cultural phenomenon par excellence, enabling us to envision the nearly 14-billion-year-old history of the Universe and see distant objects as they once were during their creation. It's a tremendously exciting time to study the general features of the Universe. With Earth-based and space telescopes, we are gathering unprecedented amounts of data and trying to solve the most fundamental and fascinating mystery of modern physics – the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Physicists, chemists, biologists, computer scientists, psychologists and researchers all over the world from many other field of science are trying to understand the functioning of our home planet in order to protect it from threats from outer space as well as from ourselves. There is life on Earth, but is there enough wisdom to preserve the planet and hand it down to our descendants unharmed?

The exhibition draws together knowledge about the conditions necessary for life to emerge and what we consider life at all. We will explore the mysteries hiding deep inside the Universe and the methods used by humankind to search for signs of life in it. Will we be successful? Time will tell!

The exhibition seeks answers to the following questions:

  • What is life?
  • What do we know about the Universe?
  • How are we looking for life in the Universe?
  • Have we found intelligent life beyond Earth?
  • What does the future hold?

Put together by: Antti Tamm, Elmo Tempel, Heli Lätt, Anu Reinart from the Tartu Observatory, Estonia; Mihkel Pajusalu from MIT, the University of Cambridge, USA; Mihkel Kama from Leiden University, the Netherlands; Alvo Aabloo from the Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, Estonia.

Event managers: Hälys Laanemäe, Ivar Kaldam (Tallinn TV Tower), Heli Lätt (Tartu Observatory).

Design concept and solutions: Produktsioonigrupp

Images and videos from the archives of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were used in compiling this exhibition.


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