Saturday, September 21, 2013

Searching for Goldilocks

Where: Air and Space Museum

When: through December 1, 2013

This is one piece, by Angela Palmer, designed to capture the work of the Kepler Space Observatory.  It is searching for "goldilocks" planets, ones that are not too hot and not too cold, and could, in theory at least, support human life.  Much to my surprise, it turns out there are any number of such planets that we've already discovered, and could be billions of them in the universe.

Palmer's piece is 18 sheets of glass with circles engraved on them to represent all the planets surveyed by Kepler.  Those that are "goldilocks" planets are a brighter white than those that are not.  It's a terrific way to see very quickly how many planets there are and how many might be hospitable to visitors.

According to the information displayed along with the piece itself, Angela Palmer has done quite a few very interesting pieces.  I'm hoping that the Smithsonian or the National Gallery might put on a show of her work, so I could learn more about her.

Verdict: This piece is located in the room that's housing the High Art exhibit, so you can easily add this to your trip.  It's interesting, and a nice combination of space exploration and art.

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