Cosmic Origins

  • Hundreds of thousands of stars in a globular cluster called NGC 6397 from the Hubble Telescope
  • Cassiopeia A, a well-known supernova remnant

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped down from the Apollo 11 lunar lander and impressed the Moon’s dusty surface with the first human bootprint. This singular moment—when humanity set foot on a world outside Planet Earth—inspired a vibrant new age of scientific and technological research that has vastly improved the understanding of our planet, solar system, and wider universe.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned mission to the Moon with the unveiling of Cosmic Origins. Visitors to this new small exhibit—located within our Earth & Planetary Sciences exhibition—will investigate the origins of and processes shaping planetary bodies and stars by using touchable specimens, colorful visuals, and interactive media. Through May 31, 2020, the exhibit will also feature an original lunar specimen, on loan from NASA, collected during Apollo 12. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to examine a real Moon rock, and to engage with this dynamic new exhibit.

The exhibition is supported by a generous gift in memory of John P. Huchra.

Read our press release.