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Light Beyond the Bulb

Whether it comes from the Sun, a distant galaxy or a neon sign around the corner, light is all around us. We use it to communicate, navigate, learn and explore.


"LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb" is an open-source international exhibition program that showcases the incredible variety of light-based science being researched today across the electromagnetic spectrum, across scientific disciplines, and across technological platforms. The exhibit materials and striking images were crowd-sourced and expert curated for science content, high-quality printability, stunning beauty and ability to engage wide audiences.

Chandra X-ray Center / Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory created “Light: Beyond the Bulb” which was originally assembled for the International Year of Light, and is now available to celebrate the International Day of Light, an UNESCO-endorsed event being held every 16th of May.

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With short informative captions on each panel, "LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb" covers a robust selection of the science, technology, nature and culture essential to the goals of the International Year of Light. Global organizers and volunteers have access to a free online repository of images and resources which functions as a toolkit to create an exhibit with relative ease—allowing sponsors to focus on the physical specifications and local adaptation without having to start from scratch on content.

We look forward to assisting you in the creation of your own exhibit as well. Here are three short guides to help you on your way to creating and hosting “LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb” in your venue.

"LIGHT: Beyond the Bulb" is based on the awardwinning "From Earth to the Universe" public science exhibit model successfully demonstrated during the International Year of Astronomy in 2009 (IYA2009) that reached many tens of millions of participants across 1000 exhibits in 75 countries with materials translated in 40 languages. From parks to shopping malls to metros and cafes, placing the images and science of light in locations where our audiences already are will help make the International Year of Light 2015 visible and notable