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Ice Worlds is a tour of the icy landscapes of our solar system ‘ especially our home planet Earth. In Ice Worlds audiences explore the critical relationship between ice and life ‘ a tale of friend and foe, enabling, challenging, supporting and adapting ‘ that has developed over millions of years.

The Earth is a dynamic planet with a global climate that is always changing. One of the most dramatic changes occurs each year as ice turns to water and returns to ice once again. The amount of ice trapped over land in the polar regions also determines sea level and the amount of solar energy absorbed by the planet as bright reflective ice transforms into dark absorbing oceans. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and Evans & Sutherland Corporation, developed Ice Worlds to showcase worlds sculpted and transformed by ice throughout the solar system, including our ice planet Earth.

The interplay of life and ice on Earth ‘from microbes to humans’ raises questions about the ice worlds of our solar system. Will they have microscopic life? Will they be suitable for humans to explore? Can they help us understand Earth’s changing polar habitats and protect their pristine beauty? For answers, Ice Worlds explores the two poles of Earth and the other ice worlds nearby.

Run Time: 28 minutes


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experience: Planetarium Shows
grade: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9
NGSS: Earth and Space Science, ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe, ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System, ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth, ESS2: Earth's Systems, ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems, ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes, ESS2.D: Weather and Climate, ESS3: Earth and Human Activity, ESS3.A: Natural Resources, ESS3.B: Natural Hazards, ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems, ESS3.D: Global Climate Change, PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation