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Friday, April 4, 2008

Alien exhibition lands in Odaiba

Do you believe there is life on other planets?

Staff writer

Are we the only intelligent life in the vast universe?

News photo
"The Science of Aliens" exhibition at the National Museum of Emerging Science in Odaiba, Tokyo.

Hints for the answer will be found at an exhibition titled "The Science of Aliens," which is currently running at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) in Tokyo's Koto Ward.

Extraterrestrial life has yet to be confirmed. But that doesn't stop people from making assumptions, one way or the other, about its existence.

The exhibition unravels the fascination of humans with the existence of aliens since ancient times, and it examines the possibility of alien existence based on the latest discoveries and theories by the world's foremost scientists.

Premiering in London in 2005, this exhibition toured in France, Spain and the United States. It will make its Asian debut at Miraikan and is an official event of "UK-Japan 2008" sponsored by the British Embassy in Tokyo and the British Council.

Exhibition Zone 1, "Alien Fiction," focuses on the social and psychological backgrounds that cause people to imagine the existence of aliens and the images humans envision by examining science-fiction works such as "War of the Worlds," "E.T." and "Predator." The exhibits show hetromorphic figures of aliens from the fictional world, which may reveal our primitive fears.

Zone 2, "Alien Science," shows deep-sea creatures living in some of the most extreme conditions on our planet, which scientists zeroed in on for clues in contemplating alien life-forms. Visitors also learn about the latest Earth planetary sciences using a giant galaxy map as one of many ways scientists are searching for planets with life.

In Zone 3, "Alien Worlds," you will visit two imaginary planets, "Aurelia" and "Blue Moon," which have been created through a combination of the latest scientific research and human imagination.

Is it possible to communicate with extraterrestrial life? Zone 4, "Alien Communication," introduces you to efforts made to communicate with life on other worlds. The exhibits show how scientists are sending messages to outer space and what they are listening for.

The exhibition runs until June 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Tuesdays, except April 29 and May 6. Admission is ¥900 for adults and ¥310 for those age 18 and under. Miraikan is a four-minute-walk from Telecom Center Station on the Yurikamome Line. For more information, call (03) 3570-9151.

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