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Museum of Culture and Environment

Current Exhibits

Stellar: The Formation of Stars

For all of recorded history, people have told stories about the stars. They looked up and saw the shapes of animals, gods, and legends. The night sky and those tiny specks of light capture the human imagination.

As science has evolved, we’ve begun to tell new stories. Stories about where the stars are, about how stars are born, live, and die. We ask questions and want to tell new stories. We add images to the stories we tell.

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope gave us the ability to see more and farther than we ever had before. New telescopes, including others in space, have given us the ability to peer deep into space and time, to see more than the human eye can see, and to further untangle the mystery of star formation. But even as we learn more, more questions arise.

How are astronomers able to peer through dense molecular clouds—to “see” beyond the regular optical spectrum and create awe-inspiring images? What do we know about how stars are created and how they die? And what mysteries remain as astronomers and astrophysicists probe these distant zones of creation and destruction?


The Things We Carry   (A community-curated exhibition)

Objects hold memories. Physical things carry traces of people we have loved, times of joy and terror, and places we may have heard of, but never visited. They connect us to distant homelands and important moments in personal and family memory. Through our objects, we carry with us complex emotions and histories. Sometimes, in contemplating these material things, we discover new insights about where we have come from and whom we might become.

All the items in this exhibit have been loaned by community members who are sharing their stories and memories with us. Some are fun and funny. Others are sad and poignant. All are united by common threads of remembrance, reflection, and resilience.

January-June 2017

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Welcome to Mars

Humanity may be able to establish a permanent, self-sustaining colony on Mars within the next 50 to 100 years. What would it take to create and maintain a long term habit for people on the red planet?

January 2017-December 2017

The Wenas Creek Mammoth

Ongoing - Dean Hall Lobby
Thousands of years ago, a mProfessor Pat Lubinski Stands next to a life sized mammoth imageammoth was buried in the hillside near the Wenas Creek in Selah, WA. In 2005, its remains were discovered and a team from Central Washington University, headed by Pat Lubinski, began the careful process of removing the bones from the hillside. The Wenas Creek Mammoth exhibit in the MCE lobby and Window On Central display exhibit explores what the team found and what they have found out about the mammoth. The exhibit features real mammoth bones in the display case.





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