From July 5 to August 30, 2009, the Kansas City Public Library plays host to the exhibit Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
The International Astronomical Union proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Astronomy as an opportunity to create awareness of astronomy's contributions to society and culture, stimulate young people's interest in astronomy and science, portray astronomy as a global peaceful endeavor, and nourish a scientific outlook in society.
Described as "a visual journey through 400 years of progress in our ability to fathom what lies beyond planet Earth," Visions of the Universe focuses on astronomy through the ages, from Galileo's initial findings to the latest results of the Hubble Space Telescope. The exhibit vividly illustrates 400 years of growth in our knowledge of not just planets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies, but also the size and scale of the universe in both space and time.
The exhibit was developed by the American Library Association Public Programs Office in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Major funding for the exhibit was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
To complement the Visions of the Universe exhibit, the Central Library is hosting a film series titled Cinema Across the Universe. Also, astronaut Steven Hawley will speak  Tuesday, July 7.