•  Cernan Earth and Space Center 


    The Cernan Earth and Space Center has a number of Earth and space exhibits in its main lobby, as follows: 

    APOLLO/MARS LANDSCAPE DIORAMA. This large exhibit, covered by a plastic dome, is a two-part exhibit. One half of the exhibit commemorates the successful Apollo missions to the moon, while the other half celebrates the present and future exploration of Mars. The Apollo side of the diorama contains models of the lunar module (the Apollo spacecraft that brought two astronauts to the lunar surface each mission) and the lunar rover, which astronauts used in the final three Apollo missions (15, 16 and 17) to extend the range of their lunar explorations. The Mars side of the diorama recreates the rocky and sandy Martian landscape, complete with scale model of the Sojourner probe. 

    APOLLO 10 SPACE SUIT. This was the spacesuit worn by astronaut Gene Cernan on the Apollo 10 mission. This spacesuit was never worn on the moon, since the Apollo 10 mission was not designed to land astronauts on the surface. Instead, this mission served as the final "dress rehearsal" before the first lunar landing mission of Apollo 11 two months later. 

    OTHER APOLLO ARTIFACTS. This case contains a variety of Apollo artifacts, including a coverall garment worn by Gene Cernan en route to the moon and several pieces of Apollo spacecraft navigation equipment. 

    SPACECRAFT MODELS. Models of the Space Shuttle, Apollo-Soyuz spacecraft and Explorer 1 are suspended over the heads of visitors in the lobby. 

    "MOON SHADOWS" EXHIBIT. This interactive exhibit uses a model of the Earth-moon system to assist viewers in understanding the phases of the moon. By looking through an eyepiece built into the exhibit, viewers can observe how the moon phase changes as they manipulate the position of the moon along its orbit. 

    TELESCOPE EXHIBIT. This exhibit shows cutaway models of the major types of telescopes and describes a few of the many celestial objects that can be seen with small telescopes. 

    DINOSAUR FOOTPRINT. This is a full-scale model of a footprint and lower leg bone of a Brachiosaurus that illustrates the size of these great prehistoric animals. This is not a real footprint, nor was this the footprint from a dinosaur found locally. No dinosaur bones have ever been found in northern Illinois due to the fact that glaciers from the last Ice Age "scoured away" any dinosaur fossils that may have once existed. 

    FOSSIL EXHIBIT. This exhibit displays a variety of Illinois fossils including our state fossil, the "Tully Monster." 

    SPACE EXPLORATION EXHIBIT. This exhibit displays information about the Hubble Space Telescope and other unmanned spacecraft and some of the recent astronomical discoveries that they have made. 

    COPERNICUS MANUSCRIPT. This book is a facsimile of the original Copernicus manuscript, titled "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), which was published in 1543 at Nuremberg, Germany. This work challenged the notion that the Earth was the center of the universe and thereby was a landmark in human and scientific thought. 

    CURRENT EVENTS BULLETIN BOARD. This bulletin board contains a current sky map, the latest astronomical images from the Hubble Space Telescope and news stories featuring recent scientific discoveries, often obtained the same day from Internet sources. 

    OUTDOOR EXHIBITS. The Nike Tomahawk missile was used to collect weather information in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The Apollo Practice Capsule never flew in space, but was used by the U.S. Navy to practice ocean recoveries. 

    The exhibit area's regular hours are as follows: 

    Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
    1 to 4 p.m. (by arrangement)
    and 6:30 to 9 p.m.
    Saturdays 6:30 to 9 p.m.
    Sundays 1:30 to 4 p.m.