Cal U Library Art Gallery

CalU Library

The Smithsonian Institution's Planetary Exhibit at Cal U.

By Emily Martik, Ashleigh Haney, Christine Martinsky, and Elise Duranko

If the sun were the size of an exercise ball, how big would the Earth be in comparison? Most people would not know the answer to this question, but a quick visit to the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit, “Beyond: Visions of Planetary Landscapes,” in the third floor art gallery of the Manderino Library at California University of Pennsylvania can fix that.

The exhibit, which came to Cal U on Jan. 25, is a result of a partnership between the university and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services, and has become an important educational tool for the community.

“We bring in about 500 students per semester from area schools,” said Tyler Menzler, 20, a political science major and a work study student in the exhibit gallery for the past two years.

A typical day for these visiting students begins in the gallery and ends in the Vulcan Theater in the Natali Student Center with an educational movie and related activities.

As for the exhibit, each picture in the showcase was taken by the use of satellite imaging, Menzler said, and is really a combination of many pictures taken of the respective planet.

“I learn something new every day,” said Menzler, who revealed that the Earth is the size of a marble if the sun is the size of an exercise ball.

This exhibit is scheduled to run until April 14, and is open to the public during gallery hours, which can be found on the link below.

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