1. Planet exhibition

The result of a collaboration between the scientific demonstrators of the Palais de la découverte and researchers from various astrophysics laboratories and observatories in France and abroad, the Planet exhibition provides a synthesis of current understanding about the solar system and demonstrates that Astronomy is a dynamic science. Discover the key features of this exhibit.

Magic planet®

Created by the company Global Imagination, the Magic Planet® application is presented in the form of a spherical screen which is 60 cm in diameter. Using a tactile interface developed by NASA (American Space Agency), visitors can choose one of the following themes: astrophysics, solar physics, the Earth and the Solar System.

An intuitive tree structure allows you to conduct detailed searches, obtain large quantities of information and watch captivating animations of the planets on the spherical screen, as well as their atmospheres and even the cosmic background radiation.

The Spirit martian rover

The company Spacemodel 13 has designed a replica of the Spirit robot at 1/3 scale specifically for this space, against a background which is a faithful reproduction of the Martian rocks and soil.
With this American space mission to Mars, NASA aims to conduct a climatic and geological study of the red planet and research the prolonged historical presence of liquid water. Spirit has a twin, Opportunity, which also landed on Mars in January 2004.

Spirit rover
The Saturne V Rocket

You can see a replica of the Saturn V Rocket at 1/50 scale, provided by NASA and fully restored in 2009. This 110m-high rocket, part of the Apollo and Skylab programmes between 1967 and 1973, was used to send men to the Moon.
Even today, Saturn V is still the most powerful rocket launcher ever used.

Saturne V

There are also several static and animated models on display in the Planet exhibition. The most impressive one is unquestionably the scale model of the solar system. The model sun is 14 m in diameter and the model Jupiter is 1.4 m in diameter. You can also find a reproduction of the visible face of the Moon at a scale of one to a million (which still makes it 3.5m wide!), a lifesize model of the Bendigo meteorite, and globes of the planets Mercury and Venus.

At the Palais de la découverte, you can see a real piece of lunar rock. This fragment of lunar rock was collected during the American mission Apollo XVII in December 1972 and was donated to France by President Richard Nixon.


2. Cosmology


Cosmology is the branch of astronomy which studies the Universe as a whole to try to understand its origins, its structure and its evolution. The Cosmology exhibition aims to teach people about the Big Bang theory, which is now the most widely accepted explanation of the origins of the Universe among the scientific community.

Interactive stands allow visitors to test their knowledge or watch animations of galaxies colliding, or a star being absorbed into a black hole... Finally, through a series of large-format photos, the exhibition provides a window on the Universe as seen through the most powerful telescopes, so that visitors can get an idea of its vast dimensions, and their place in it.