Origins pp 3-33 | Cite as


Part of the Astronomers’ Universe Series book series (ASTRONOM)


Every few months I take my children to the National Museum of Wales in the center of Cardiff. We have a strict routine. We start off with the Exhibition of the Evolving Earth. This begins in darkness in a small room lined with screens. There is an explosion of light: the Big Bang. On the screens the Universe rapidly expands, galaxies and stars form out of swirling clouds of gas, and eventually the Earth is formed. We step out of the room into a series of winding galleries displaying the history of the Earth. As we walk through the galleries, always moving forwards in time, we travel through the Silurian and Devonian eras, past fossils of primitive sea life, models of long-extinct giant insects and displays showing how the climate has changed and how what is now land was once under the sea. However, the children never walk. They run forward in time to the exciting bit in the Earth’s history: the age of the dinosaurs. The dinosaur gallery has skeletons of both land and sea dinosaurs and the huge fossilized skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Even more exciting than the dinosaur gallery is the Ice Age gallery which comes next; here there is a life-sized model of a woolly mammoth which moves when you break an infrared beam.


Solar System Clay Layer Planetary System Giant Planet Roulette Wheel 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

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