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Aerial

If you look up before you walk through the Science Center's main entrance, you'll see the Aerial, a spiral-shaped collection of hundreds of hanging spheres—1,578 to be exact. The Aerial, swinging between the Dichroic Skylight and the DNA Bench, inspires thoughts about the origins of the universe as well as the origins of life.

 
Crimping a cable for the Aerial
The spheres of the Aerial are suspended on 342 cables, hung from circular brackets mounted just below the skylight. The spheres come in three sizes—three, five or seven inches in diameter—and each sphere is covered in a thin coat of metal. Most of the spheres are coated with real gold, but 203 of them are coated with palladium, another precious metal.
 
Coating a sphere with gold
Instead of being bright and shiny, the metal finish of the spheres has a smudged look. The less polished finish gives the spheres more of a handcrafted style, but it's also practical. The Aerial is very hard to dust, and dust would make shiny spheres look dull. Dust doesn't show up as much on the slightly mottled spheres, so the Aerial will look new for a long time.
General InformationExhibitsEducationIMAXFun Lab