Our Place in Space

Our place in Space is a travelling exhibition designed to get you thinking about where humanity fits in the grand scheme of our Universe. Astronomers and artists will present their own interpretations of where we are, where we belong, what our past might have been and what our future might look like, by using Hubble images, artworks and installations. Combining different perspectives in the exhibition by bringing together art and science gives us a unique, and more complete, view of the Universe we live in and the research, both in science and the arts, being done to understand it.


Since the start of civilisation humans have tried to understand the Universe and their place in it — both as a species and as individuals. This quest has led to several shifts in our perception of our place in space, shifts often generated by new astronomical discoveries.

Astronomers have placed the Earth at the centre of the Universe, and then proven that it is not. They have theorised that the Milky Way is all there is, and then discovered that we live in just one galaxy among billions. And they have demonstrated the ever changing nature of our environment, a Universe as inconstant as our attempts to define it.

As our ability to observe the Universe improves and we gain another perception on our environment, both near and far, we edge closer to our very human desire to understand our place in space.


In 2015 we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, one of the most ambitious and successful space astronomy missions ever flown. The data, science and images from Hubble — a hugely successful collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) — have helped us to see further and have shifted our perspective. They have inspired astronomers, artists and public alike to ask, and endeavour to answer, the deep existential questions that we all share: Where do we come from? Where are we going? Are we alone?

Not only has Hubble transformed our knowledge of the Universe but for more than two decades it it has greatly impacted culture, society and art. Hubble has broadened the reach of astronomical research, a science that for years was reserved for a privileged few, and made it a resource available to all. It has brought the Universe into our homes, continues to inspire generations of students, and has become a presence that belongs to everyone. Hubble is and will continue to be the “people’s telescope”.


Visit Our Place in Space and embark on a journey that takes you from the exhibition space to the borders of the observable Universe. The exhibition reveals how we have expanded our travel horizons to break away from the boundaries imposed by our planet’s atmosphere and explore the furthest reaches of time and space with Hubble and its counterparts.

Below are the various stops the exhibition will make, so you can find the location nearest to you. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge at all locations! If you are an institution within Europe interested in hosting the exhibition, please get in contact with us.


Our Place in Space is a project coordinated by ESA/Hubble, in partnership with the Space Telescope Science Institute. The exhibition is curated by Antonella Nota and Anna Caterina Bellati. The exhibition executive committee consists of Antonella Nota (ESA/STScI; chair), Anna Caterina Bellati (Bellati Edrs.), Ken Carpenter (NASA), Lars Lindberg Christensen (ESO), Carol Christian (STScI), Roger Davies (Oxford, UK) and Hussein Jirdeh (STScI).

Exhibition locations

Venice, Italy

Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice
Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice. Credit: ESA & Bob Fosbury

The exhibition will have its opening in Venice, Italy. Here it will be shown from 1 February to 17 April 2017 in the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, on the banks of the Grand Canal. It is open to the public seven days a week, from 10 am to 6 pm. Entrance to the exhibition is free of charge.

Several selected Italian artists will present their impressions of Our Place in Space in the exhibition:

Chiavenna, Italy

The exhibition is on display in the medieval town of Chiavenna, Italy, from 13 May to 20 August 2017. at the Convento dei Cappuccini, Piazza Bertacchi. The exhibition will be open 6 days per week, from Tuesday to Sunday. The opening hours are 10:30 to 12:30 in the morning and 15:00 to 18:00 in the afternoon. The entrance to the exhibition is free.

Several selected Italian artists will present their impressions of Our Place in Space in the exhibition:

Garching, Germany

From spring 2018 the exhibition will be on display in the new ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, just north of Munich, Germany. It will be an addition to the permanent exhibition The Living Universe and the state-of-the-art planetarium.



Mathias Jäger
ESA/Hubble, Public Information Officer
Garching, Germany
Tel: +49 176 62397500
Email: mjaeger@partner.eso.org

Antonella Nota
ESA HST Project Scientist, STScI
Email: nota@stsci.edu

Accelerated by CDN77