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P.A. library hosts space exploration exhibit

The North Olympic Library System's Port Angeles Library presents an exhibit about the history of space exploration from Sept. 23-Dec. 2.

"Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery" uses drawings and diagrams made by Galileo and other early astronomers, along with contemporary images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and other space missions, to show how humans' view and understanding of the universe and the objects within it have changed over the centuries.

The traveling exhibit, which is visiting 55 public libraries throughout the nation, is part of a multi-year global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary, in 2009, of Galileo's first astronomical observations with the telescope.

In the U.S., the goal of this continuing celebration is to offer an engaging astronomy experience to every person in the country.

"Visions of the Universe" covers a wide range of topics related to the scientific exploration of the universe, from storms on the sun to features on the surfaces of Mars and the moon, the nature of comets, star birth and distant galaxies.

The colorful exhibit panels feature images of planets, stars, comets, nebulae and galaxies taken by NASA's astronomical observatories and spacecraft, as well as drawings and diagrams created by early astronomers such

as Galileo, Christiaan Huygens and Charles Messier, which show how the universe, stars and planets were viewed and understood centuries ago.

"We are pleased that the Port Angeles Library was chosen as a site for this groundbreaking exhibit covering four centuries of astronomy," said NOLS director Paula Barnes.

"Space exploration is a topic that fascinates everyone, regardless of their age.

"The remarkable images in this exhibit show how far we have come in understanding the universe and our place in it.

"We hope the whole community will be able to see the exhibit and participate in the programs the library has planned."

The exhibit is presented by the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md., the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., and the American Library Association, through funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The Port Angeles Library, 2210 S. Peabody St., in collaboration with the Port Angeles School District, is presenting a number of free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibit.

For more information, call 417-8500, e-mail PortAngeles@nols.org or visit www.nols.org.

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