Cosmos and Culture: how astronomy has shaped our world



Cosmos & Culture is a gallery about astronomy and its history.

It uses historical and modern objects from the Museum's collections to tell stories about the people, the discoveries and the science that shapes our understanding of atronomy today. 

Themes covered in the exhibition include:

  • How telescopes work
  • Using light of different wavelengths to study the universe
  • Changing ideas about Earth’s place in the Solar System and the cosmos
  • Constellations and how these are viewed differently around the world
  • Searching for extraterrestrial life
  • Contemporary cosmological topics: general relativity and gravity waves, dark matter and dark energy
  • Using astronomy for timekeeping and navigation
  • Amateur astronomy
  • Astronomy in popular culture

In the gallery there are large-print guide books that students can use to help them explore. These may also be useful as stand-alone resources for teachers so we have included them here as downloadable pdfs:


Cosmos & Culture is supported by the Patrons of the Science Museum with additional support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

suggested 30-45 minutes
Suitable for:
age 11 upwards
Places per session:
not applicable
Pre-booking req'd:
Supervisory ratio:
1: 15

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