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Take a seat to explore the universe

How much do you know about the universe?

"The Big Bang", the latest production of Sky Show by the Hong Kong Space Museum may shed new light on this question. The show will be screened from tomorrow (June 20) until November 19. Audiences will be able to review changes in the cognition of the universe and go back to the moment when matter, time and energy were born. Based on the Big Bang Cosmological Model, the process of formation from atom to stars and the present and future of the universe will also be discussed.

To the ancient Chinese, the universe embodied the concept of an all-encompassing space, which stretched indefinitely in all directions, and of time which straddled the past, the present and the future. Throughout history, people have been driven by their unabated curiosity to comprehend the universe. This whole process of revelation spanned several millennia, from the ancients, who created mythologies on the origin of the universe to explain all kinds of celestial phenomena, to scientists like Edwin Hubble and Albert Einstein in the 20th century, who made use of science and technology to obtain a more accurate picture of space and time.

From observations, it is known that most of the galaxies in the universe are moving away from us. Not only does this provide substantial evidence that the universe is expanding, but also implies that it was smaller and hotter in the past. About 14 billion years ago, the universe was created in a colossal explosion in which matter and energy were released. The explosion brought about the continual expansion of the universe. The resulting drop in temperature precipitated the eventual formation of stars and galaxies. Aptly coined "The Big Bang Model", this cosmology is by far the most widely accepted theory on the origin of our Universe and its subsequent evolution.

Although the Big Bang Model does not touch on the cause of the Big Bang, it is sure that the universe came into being with it. The universe can start again or even keep starting continuously. Some academics even believe that there is not only one universe, the number is huge. In the multiverse hypothesis, each Parallel universe has its own nature, size, age and even possessing different laws of physics. Parallel universes may keep on breaking away from the parent universe. Once a universe is born, the connection between universes may be broken.

No matter how the universe comes into being, the Earth and human beings on it are the only civilised and intelligent living things known. Just as Einstein once said, "The most incomprehensible thing in the universe is that it is so comprehensive."

The 40-minute Sky Show "The Big Bang" will be screened daily at 2.40pm and 6.10pm at the museum's Stanley Ho Space Theatre. There will be an additional screening at 11.10am on Sundays and public holidays. It closes on Tuesdays (except public holidays). Tickets are now available at the Space Museum Box Office and at all URBTIX outlets for $24 (front stalls) and $32 (stalls). Full-time students, senior citizens and people with disabilities will receive a half-price concession.

The Space Museum is located at 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. For further information, please call 2721 0226 or visit the website at .

Ends/Tuesday, June 19, 2007

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