First Look: SITES’ Evolving Universe

Our Sun is only one of 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Without it, life on Earth would not be possible. What we know about our Sun serves as the foundation for what we understand about distant stars. Credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin/SAO.

Special thanks to Ed Liskey, Senior Scheduling & Exhibitor Relations Coordinator, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, for this guest post.

The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) is pleased to offer Smithsonian Affiliates an early opportunity to be among the first venues to host the new The Evolving Universe traveling exhibition.  The Evolving Universe will feature 27 full-color, oversize images that will explore what we know about the history and structure of our solar system, the Milky Way and other galaxies and the universe as a whole. 

Two bright pinpoints of light in NGC 6240 show two supermassive black holes merging in the galaxy’s center. The black holes are only 3,000 light years apart and have been spiraling toward each other for about 30 million years. Credit: NASA/CXC/MIT, NASA/STScI.


Through these stunning photographs and engaging text, visitors will travel back in time and space to the beginnings of our universe.  With specialized content targeting both the young and curious as well as more technically-savvy visitors, The Evolving Universe will have wide appeal.  Act now to host this exciting exhibition of the latest cosmological knowledge and the amazing technologies scientists use to attain that knowledge.  Learn more and see additional exhibition images on SITES’ The Evolving Universe website.


During the supergiant and supernova phases of star death, nuclear reactions fuse helium and carbon into heavier elements, such as silicon (seen in green in this image) and iron (red). These elements are ejected forcibly in clouds that are light-years in diameter, seeding the next generation of star formation with the elements that make up planets like Earth. Credit: NASA/CXC/MIT/UMass-Amherst.