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Google partners with NASA and CERN to create massive online exhibit honoring science

From the story of the Big Bang to the story of the chip, Once Upon a Try promotes the history of invention

Image: Google Arts & Culture / Once Upon a Try

Google’s Arts & Culture division, the team behind the viral art-matching selfie trend from last year, has partnered with museums from around the world to create a collection of videos and images dedicated to honoring science and human discovery.

The Once Upon a Try project is available both online and within the Google Arts & Culture app on Android and iOS. Built in collaboration with groups such as NASA, CERN, and the Smithsonian, it features over 200,000 artifacts from around the world. Here are some of our favorite “exhibits”:

  • Cai Guo-Qiang and da Vinci: painting with Gunpowder
    This is a short documentary on the history of gunpowder in China, and how it inspired the artist Cai Guo-Qiang to choose gunpowder as his artistic medium of choice.
  • NASA Virtual Universe
    NASA used machine learning to analyze and catalog its hundreds of thousands of photos for easy exploration. Search by keywords like “Cape Canaveral,” “space suit,” “orbit,” “measurements,” and less obvious topics like “blackness,” “landscaping tips,” and “bullpen.”
  • A beautiful blue sky: the emergence of color photography
    Part of Once Upon a Try’s series on the history of ordinary things, the exhibit on color photography is a history of paint and pigments, from early attempts to photographing the solar spectrum to the trichromatic camera. Other features focus on the history of glass, the radiator, and the chip card.
Image: Google Arts & Culture / Once Upon a Try
  • Big Bang
    An augmented reality app, plus Tilda Swinton, plus the story of the beginning of the Universe.

There are over 400 interactive exhibits in total. Happy exploring!