Is there life in the Universe? This is the question from which the interactive exhibition “A Living Universe” stems, featuring videos, information and a few hands-on activities to learn more about human kind’s thirst for knowledge about what lies beyond our tiny planet and our attempts to learn if the Earth is the only place inhabited by living creatures in this Universe.

The exhibition, currently held at the Tallinn TV Tower, starts right at the entrance with a human gyroscope, a machine designed to safely spin a person around in every possible direction to test an astronaut’s ability to handle the feeling of disorientation and weightlessness. Although it seems terrifying at first glance, it is, in reality, quite a fun ride and a very recommended start to an exhibition not only to look at, but also experience.

Another activity that induces pleasant dizziness is a 3D video played on a cinema-like screen showing a continuous and slowly moving image of the Universe. Although quite a simple video only accompanied by some suitably outlandish music, it is striking precisely because of that: the Universe is so beautiful and complex, it doesn’t need anything else to be admired.

Up next in the exhibition that is already a shock to the senses is a ride on the high-speed elevator to the 21st floor of the tower. Up there, 175 metres above ground, one could spend all morning wandering around the room where mushroom-like structures hold screens that show informative and interesting material about the Universe and the technological advances and efforts that we have done to learn more about it. Worth mentioning is a very friendly video about Rosetta, the spacecraft that landed on a comet just a little over a year ago. Other eye-catching materials are a thorough description of all of the planets in our solar system and the types and shapes of galaxies that have been found. After spending some time going through all of the screens, it is only appropriate to take some time to look at the stunning views of Tallinn that the TV Tower offers.

A better location for this exhibition could not have been chosen. Ironically enough, the architect in charge of the remodellation of the Tower a few years ago, mentioned that they were inspired by the tower’s appearance, which in their opinion looked like a UFO stuck on an antenna. Additionally, the floor of the observation deck, filled with signs pointing to the direction of the world’s capitals and the distance to them, together with the 360-degree view of Tallinn, its surroundings and the Gulf of Finland, give a sense of the immensity of the Earth. But then, after going through an exhibition showcasing how incomprehensibly vast the Universe is, we realize how insignificant the distance to any point in the world really is. After dealing with these contradictory thoughts, it is then time to descend to the ground again, but not before taking another look at the TV Tower and the Universe in it and above it.

More information about the exhibition here: