Ice Worlds tours, the icy landscapes of our solar system – especially our home planet, Earth. 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, has 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? Explore the answers in Ice Worlds.
Ice Worlds opened during the 4th International Polar Year, when thousands of scientists from over 60 nations are exploring and researching the polar regions. The show is designed to feature their latest discoveries.