Westminster's Universe

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for Westminster!

We also welcome donations below $50 and would be pleased to recognize your support both virtually and in the new Science facility, once completed.

What do I do next?

Found a piece of the Westminster Universe you relate to? Now act quickly to secure your preferred piece. Scroll through the list below and click on the one you want to purchase. You will then be taken to our donation page to complete your payment. If you cannot click on the item you would like, it has already been claimed by another donor. Why not take this opportunity to be inspired by our Universe and discover a new piece of space to claim!


​Go boldly where no man has gone before

Create a Big Bang

Run rings around the galaxy​

Leave your footprint on our Universe

Be part of Mission Control

Join the Galaxy Guardians
​​
 
Item Description Donated By
Sun The Sun is the star at the centre of our Solar System, and is responsible for the Earth’s climate and weather. The Sun contains 99.86% of the mass in the Solar System and has a mass that is approximately 330,000 times greater than that of Earth. It is almost three quarters Hydrogen, whilst most of the remaining mass is Helium. At its centre the Sun reaches temperatures of 15 million °C. David and Jan Shipway
Item Description Donated By
Big Bang The Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation about how the universe began. At its simplest, it talks about the universe as we know it starting with a small singularity, then inflating over the next 13.8 billion years to the cosmos that we know today. Emilia & Adelle Parkinson-Need
Black Holes A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
Exoplanets Exoplanets are planets beyond our Solar System that could support life, and are very similar to Earth. The top five candidates are called: Kepler 438b, Gliese 667Cc, Kepler 442b, Kepler 62e and 62f and Kepler 452b.
Milky Way The Milky Way Galaxy is our home galaxy in the Universe. The Milky Way began forming around 12 billion years ago and is part of a group of about 50 galaxies called the Local Group. The Andromeda Galaxy is part of this group as are numerous smaller galaxies, including the Magellanic Clouds. The Local Group itself is part of a larger gathering of galaxies called the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies.
Moon The Moon is the second brightest object in the sky after the Sun. As the Moon orbits around the Earth once per month, the angle between the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun changes; we see this as the cycle of the Moon's phases. The gravitational forces between the Earth and Moon cause some interesting effects, most obviously the tides of the oceans. Jaimee & Nick Foster
Supernovae A supernova is the explosion of a star. It is the largest explosion that takes place in space. It looks amazing, and also then gives birth to new stars.
Item Description Donated By
Mercury Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, and due to its proximity, it is not easily seen except during twilight. For every two orbits of the Sun, Mercury completes three rotations about its axis.
Venus Venus is the second planet from the Sun and is the fourth brightest object in the night sky after the Sun, the Moon, and the International Space Station. Named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, Venus is the second largest terrestrial planet and is sometimes referred to as the Earth’s sister planet due to their similar size and mass. Bradley Family
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and is the largest of the terrestrial planets. The Earth is the only planet in our Solar System not to be named after a Greek or Roman deity. The Earth was formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago and is the only known planet to support life. Phillip ('66) and Robyn Styles
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, and is the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Named after the Roman god of war, Mars is also often described as the “Red Planet” due to its reddish appearance. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere composed primarily of carbon dioxide.
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, and is two and a half times more massive than all the other planets in the Solar System combined. It is made primarily of gases and is therefore known as a “gas giant”.
Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and the most distant planet that can be seen with the naked eye. Saturn is the second largest planet and is best known for its fabulous ring system that was first observed in 1610 by the astronomer Galileo Galilei. Like Jupiter, Saturn is a gas giant and is composed of similar gasses including hydrogen, helium, and methane. Sally Powell '93
Uranus Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It’s not visible to the naked eye, and became the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope. Uranus is tipped over on its side with an axial tilt of 98 degrees. It is often described as “rolling around the Sun on its side”. Russell and Michelle Ellis
Neptune Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun, making it the most distant planet in our Solar System. This gas giant planet may have formed much closer to the Sun in early solar system history before migrating to its present position.
Pluto Discovered in 1930, Pluto is the second closest dwarf planet to the Sun, and was at one point classified as the ninth planet. Pluto is the largest dwarf planet but only the second most massive, with Eris being the most massive.
Ceres Ceres is the closest dwarf planet to the Sun and is located in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter, making it the only dwarf planet in the inner Solar System. Ceres is the smallest of the bodies currently classified as dwarf planets with a diameter of 950km.
Haumea Haumea is the third closest dwarf planet from the Sun, and is unique in its elongated shape, making it the least spherical of the dwarf planets.
Makemake Makemake is the second furthest dwarf planet from the Sun, and is the third largest dwarf planet in our Solar System. Makemake was discovered on 31 March 2005, and was recognized as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in July 2008. Until April 2016 Makemake was thought to be the only one of the four outer dwarf planets to not have any moons. Anonymous
Eris Eris is the most distant dwarf planet from the Sun, and has the greatest mass. Eris is the second largest dwarf planet, coming in a very close second to Pluto. At one point Eris was considered for the position of the tenth planet. Eris’ discovery promoted discussion that eventually lead to the classification of ‘Dwarf Planets’.
Item Description Donated By
Andy Thomas AO Andy Thomas AO was the first South Australian Astronaut. In June 1995, Thomas was named as payload commander for STS-77 and flew his first flight in space on Endeavour in May 1996. Andy Thomas AO served 22 years with the NASA space agency.
Brian Schmidt Brian Schmidt is an Australian at the Australian National University, who won a Nobel Prize for his evidence that the Universe is expanding at an accelerated rate.
Buzz Aldrin Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was one of the first people to walk on the Moon. He and flight commander Neil Armstrong made the Apollo 11 moonwalk in 1969.
Christa McAuliffe Christa McAuliffe was a high school teacher, who was the first civilian selected to go into space. Christa was part of the 'Teacher in Space' Project, however never made it to space after she was sadly killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.
Donald Lynden Bell Donald Lynden Bell was the first to discover that a supermassive black hole is at the centre of every galaxy, even ours, and is a primary cause in a galaxies evolution.
Dr Sally Ride In 1983, Dr Sally Ride became the first American woman in space aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Edwin Hubble Astronomer Edwin Hubble revolutionized the field of astrophysics. His research helped prove that the Universe is expanding, and he created a classification system for galaxies that has been used for several decades. The Hubble Space Telescope was named in his honour.
Eileen Collins When the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off on 23 July 1999, pilot Eileen Collins became NASA's first female shuttle commander.
Elon Musk South African entrepreneur Elon Musk founded Tesla Motors and SpaceX, which launched a landmark commercial spacecraft in 2012.
Galileo Galilei Galileo Galilei was credited as the father of modern day observational astronomy. Galileo developed telescopes with magnification up to 30x.
Jill Tarter Jill Tarter is an American astronomer, and the former director of the Centre for SETI research (Search for Extra Terrestrial life). Jill is a spokesperson for the search for alien life. Jill's astronomical work is illustrated in Carl Sagan's novel 'Contact', and the protagonist in the film of the same name was largely based on Jill.
Johannes Kepler Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer, known for his planetary motion, which describes the motion of the planets around the Sun. Cant Family Waddikee
Leonard Susskind Leonard Susskind challenged Stephen Hawking and defeated his argument that information is lost in the Universe once a black hole evaporates. He also developed two mainstream ideas of what is thought to be the future of our understanding of the Universe, String Theory and the holographic principle.
Neil Armstrong Neil Armstrong made history on 20 July 1969, by becoming the first man to walk on the Moon. Jaarsma Family
Nicolaus Copernicus Nicolaus Copernicus is credited as the first astronomer to develop a comprehensive heliocentric version of the Solar System. Paul & Kerrie McCarthy
Valentina Tereshkova Russian Cosmonaut and engineer, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in June 1963; two decades ahead of the first American woman Astronaut. She was chosen from a field of 400 applicants to Pilot Vostok 6, spending three days in space and orbiting Earth 48 times. Miranda Starke, Scott Brumfield, Jaxon and Hugo
Item Description Donated By
Apollo 11 Apollo 11 was launched atop the most powerful rocket of all time, the Saturn V. The spacecraft was composed of two sections, the lunar module and the command module, the latter of which remained in orbit around the Moon with Michael Collins on board, and the former taking astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the Moon. Chris Doudle and Elke Langman
Cassini-Huygens The orbiting component of the probe flew by Jupiter, and became the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn. The landing vehicle was the Huygens probe, which landed on Saturn’s moon Titan on 14 January 2005, and returned images of the surface, the first and only successful landing in the outer Solar System. Throughout its mission it has made countless important discoveries about the outer Solar System, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Wilson Family
Chandra X-ray Observatory Since 1999, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has been scanning the skies in x-ray light, looking at some of the most distant and bizarre astronomical events and showed scientists the first glimpse of the crushed star left over after a supernova when it observed the remnant Cassiopeia A. The observatory can see x-ray sources 100 times fainter than any previous x-ray telescope.
Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) helped take the first picture of the cosmic microwave (the afterglow of the Big Bang or the baby universe at an age of 3 to 4 hundred thousand years old). It aided a Nobel Prize win, and allowed cosmology to become an exact science.
Curiosity Rover Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral on 26 November 2011 aboard the MSL spacecraft, and landed on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars on 6 August 2012. The rover's goals include investigation of the Martian climate and geology, assessment of whether the selected field site inside Gale Crater has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life, including investigation of the role of water, and planetary habitability studies in preparation for future human exploration. Norm and Ruth Walwyn
Deep Space 1 Deep Space 1 (DS1) is the first of a series of technology demonstration probes being developed by NASA's New Millennium Program. The spacecraft flew by the Mars-crossing near-Earth asteroid 9969 Braille in July 1999 and flew by comet Borrelly on 22 September 2001. As part of the technology demonstrations, the probe carries the Miniature Integrated Camera-Spectrometer (MICAS), an instrument combining two visible imaging channels with UV and IR spectrometers. MICAS is used to study the chemical composition, geomorphology, size, spin-state, and atmosphere of the target objects. It also carries the Plasma Experiment for Planetary Exploration (PEPE), an ion and electron spectrometer which measures the solar wind during cruise, the interaction of the solar wind with target bodies during encounters, and the composition of the cometary coma.
Galileo NASA’s Galileo spacecraft was taken into space by Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1989, and sent on its way to study Jupiter, following flybys of Venus and Earth. It was the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, in addition to performing the first flyby of an asteroid. It also carried the Galileo Space Probe, which it released into the atmosphere of Jupiter in 1995, providing unprecedented data about the composition of the atmosphere of the largest planet in our Solar System. In 2003, the orbiting spacecraft was sent crashing into Jupiter, where it immediately burnt up.
Giotto Giotto was launched on 2 July 1985, and approached within 540km of the nucleus of Comet Halley on 13 March 1986. The spacecraft returned data until shortly before the closest approach, when the downlink was temporarily lost. Giotto was severely damaged by high-speed dust encounters during the flyby.
Hayabusa Japan’s Hayabusa probe was the first spacecraft to return a sample from an asteroid.
Hubble Telescope The Hubble Space Telescope has changed the way everyday people figure themselves into the cosmos. The observatory has also radically changed science, making breakthroughs on astronomical issues. By sending up an optical telescope to peer at the sky from beyond Earth's turbulent atmosphere, NASA developed a tool that could reveal stars, planets, nebulae, and galaxies in all their fully-detailed glory. Bock Family
International Space Station The International Space Station is a large spacecraft and a science lab which orbits around Earth. Many countries worked together to build it and they continue to work together to use it. It is also a home where astronauts live. The Space Station is made of many pieces, which were put together in space by astronauts. The Space Station's orbit is about 220 miles above Earth. NASA uses the station to learn about living and working in space. These lessons will help NASA explore space. Julie Peard & Michael Wenzel
Kepler Satellite The Kepler Satellite is a very important instrument in detecting exoplanets. Although the Hubble Telescope does this too, Kepler is specifically designed as an exoplanet hunter.
Magellan Launched in May 1989, Magellan had mapped 98% of the surface of Venus, and obtained a comprehensive gravity field map for 95% of the planet. In the fall of 1994, Magellan was deliberately sent into Venus' atmosphere to further study aero braking techniques which can make major savings in fuel for future missions.
Mariner 2 The first successful probe to flyby Venus on December 1962, Mariner 2 returned information which confirmed that Venus is a very hot world with a cloud-covered atmosphere composed primarily of carbon dioxide.
Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, landed on opposite sides of the planet in January 2004. Since then, they have been traveling all over the surface. Among their major finds is evidence that the surface of Mars once had liquid water.
New Horizons NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft was the first man-made probe to fly by Pluto upon its arrival in 2015. While its primary mission was to study what was the ninth planet in the Solar System at the time of its launch, it has along the way also studied Jupiter and its moons.
Pioneer 10 and 11 Pioneer 10 and 11 were, at the time of their launch, the two most scientifically advanced vehicles to venture into the Solar System. They contained a number of technical instruments that had never been used in space before, which included a charged particle instrument to measure the extent of the Sun’s influence as they travelled towards the edge of the Solar System, and an ultraviolet photometer to determine the composition of Jupiter’s atmosphere. While communication was lost in 2003 (Pioneer 10) and 1995 (Pioneer 11), the probes continue to make their way out of the Solar System, with each possessing an on board plaque detailing the origins of the spacecraft, lest they are ever discovered by intelligent life-forms from another world.
Space Shuttle Atlantis Atlantis lifted off on its maiden voyage on 3 October 1985, on mission 51-J, the second dedicated Department of Defence flight. Later missions included the launch of the Galileo interplanetary probe to Jupiter on STS-34 in October 1989, and STS-37, with the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) as its primary payload, in April 1991. David Wyness
Space Shuttle Challenger Challenger was the second orbiter of NASA's space shuttle program to be put into service following Columbia. Its maiden flight, STS-6, started on 4 April 1983. Challenger launched and landed nine times, before breaking apart 73 seconds into its tenth mission, STS-51-L, on 28 January 1986, resulting in the death of all seven crew members, including civilian school teacher Christa McAuliffe. It was the first of two shuttles to be destroyed in flight, the other being Columbia in 2003. The accident led to a two-and-a-half year grounding of the shuttle fleet; flights resumed in 1988 with STS-26 flown by Discovery. Challenger itself was replaced by Endeavour which was built using structural spares ordered by NASA as part of the construction contracts for Discovery and Atlantis. The Hean Family
Space Shuttle Columbia Columbia initiated NASA's Space Shuttle flight program when it lifted off Pad A in the Launch Complex 39 area at KSC on 12 April 1981. It proved the operational concept of a winged, reusable spaceship by successfully completing the Orbital Flight Test Program - missions STS-1 through STS-4. Other achievements for Columbia included the recovery of the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) satellite from orbit during mission STS-32 in January 1990, and the STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences mission in June 1991 - the first manned Spacelab mission totally dedicated to human medical research.
Space Shuttle Discovery Discovery was launched on its first mission, flight 41-D, on 30 August 1984. It carried aloft three communications satellites for deployment by its astronaut crew. Other Discovery milestones include the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope on mission STS-31 in April 1990, the launching of the Ulysses spacecraft to explore the sun's polar regions on mission STS-41 in October of that year, and the deployment of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in September 1991.
Space Shuttle Endeavour Endeavour, NASA's newest orbiter, began flight operations in 1992 on mission STS-49, the Intelsat VI repair mission.
Spitzer Space Telescope The Spitzer Space Telescope observed the heavens through infrared light. This light, which has a longer wavelength than visual light, is mostly blocked by Earth's atmosphere. In addition to taking photos of galaxies, nebulae, and stars, the telescope has made numerous ground breaking scientific discoveries. In 2005, Spitzer became the first telescope to detect light from extrasolar planets.
Sputnik 1 On 4 October 1957, Sputnik 1 successfully launched and entered Earth's orbit, thus began the 'space age'. The successful launch shocked the world, giving the former Soviet Union the distinction of putting the first human-made object into space.
Syncom 3 Syncom 3 was the first geostationary satellite. It was an experimental geosynchronous communications satellite placed over the equator at 180 degrees longitude in the Pacific Ocean. The satellite provided live television coverage of the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan, and conducted various communications tests. Operations were turned over to the Department of Defense on 1 January 1965. Syncom 3 was to prove useful in the DoD's Vietnam communications.
Venera Probes The Venera missions have been Russia’s most successful space exploration missions to date. 23 separate probes were launched in total to Venus, between 1961 and 1984, with 10 of these landing on the surface and the rest remaining in orbit, or entering the scorching planet’s atmosphere. Each Venera lander was a technical marvel, withstanding temperature of up to 462 degrees Celsius to remain operational on the surface of Venus for up to two hours. They returned key data about the surface of the planet, including detailed information on the planet’s atmospheric structure, and its surface temperature. Anonymous
Viking When NASA's Viking 1 probe touched-down on Mars in July 1976, it was the first time a man-made object had soft-landed on the red planet. The Viking 1 lander is the longest-running Mars surface mission, with a total duration of six years and 116 days. The spacecraft also sent the first colour pictures back.
Vostok 1 In 1961 Vostok 1 became the first manned craft to leave Earth's orbit, taking Yuri Gagarin there for 68 minutes. Gagarin was not able to freely move around the cabin, nor was he able to manually control the spacecraft, owing to the fact that scientists were unsure how humans would cope in the weightless environment of space. Nonetheless, in the timeline of space exploration, Vostok 1 is undoubtedly one of the most important spacecraft of all time.
Voyager 1 and 2 The Voyager program was designed to explore Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, but as the probes remained in operation the mission was extended to include the study of the edge of the Solar System, the boundary into interstellar space. On board each of the Voyager probes is a compendium of sounds and imagery from Earth known as the Golden Record, which also contains instructions on how to locate Earth should it one day be found by an alien race. Craig, Hazel, Mhairi and Grant Robertson
WMAP The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), launched in 2001, measures with unprecedented accuracy the temperature of the radiation left over from the Big Bang. By mapping out the fluctuations in the so-called cosmic microwave background radiation, the spacecraft has heralded a leap forward in cosmological theories about the nature and origin of the universe. Among other revelations, the data from WMAP revealed a much more precise estimate for the age of the universe, and confirmed that about 95 percent of it is composed of poorly understood things called dark matter and dark energy.
Item Description Donated By
Andromeda Princess of Ethiopia or the Chained Lady Wayne Family
Antlia Air Pump Wilson Family
Apus Bird of Paradise Caitlin and Lachlan Dyer
Aquarius Water Bearer Nicole Salamon, Layla and Ruby.
Aquila Eagle Edwin Donovan
Ara Altar
Aries Ram Wendy Donovan
Auriga Charioteer
Boötes Herdsman
Caelum Sculptor's Chisel Brian and Cynthia Lomas
Camelopardalis Giraffe Sarah Goldsmith
Cancer Crab Charlie Johnson
Canes Venatici Hunting Dogs
Canis Major Greater Dog Lyall Brumfield
Canis Minor Lesser Dog Anonymous
Capricornus Sea Goat Rob and Rosie Aust
Carina Keel
Cassiopeia Queen of Ethiopia or Andromeda's Mother
Centaurus Centaur Kai Southern
Cepheus King of Ethiopia or Andromeda's Father
Cetus Sea Monster
Chameleon Chameleon Sarah Goldsmith
Ciscinus Compasses
Columba Dove
Coma Berenices Berenice's Hair
Corona Australis Southern Crown Kai Southern
Corona Borealis Northern Crown
Corvus Crow Zac Hillam
Crater Cup
Crux Southern Cross Karen Kupke
Cygnus Swan or the Northern Cross
Delphinus Dolphin Jill Smith
Dorado Dolphinfish
Draco Dragon
Equuleus Foal
Eridanus River of Hades
Fornax Laboratory Furnace Anonymous
Gemini Twins Bev & Pete Le Cornu
Grus Crane
Hercules Hercules (mythological Roman hero)
Horologium Pendulum Clock
Hydra Mythological Serpentine Water Monster
Hydrus Water Snake
Indus Indian
Lacerta Lizard
Leo Lion Pauline Bartlett
Leo Minor Lion Cub Sam Williams
Lepus Hare
Libra Weighing Scales Lexie Curran
Lupus Wolf Wolfe Hummel Smith
Lynx Lynx
Lyra Lyre/Harp
Mensa Table Mountain
Microscopium Microscope
Monoceros Unicorn Alfie Swallowe
Musca Fly
Norma Carpenter's Level
Octans Octant
Ophiucus Serpent-Bearer
Orion Great Hunter Elke Langman
Pavo Peacock
Pegasus Winged Horse
Perseus Perseus (mythological Greek hero)
Phoenix Phoenix Aiden Johnson
Pictor Painter's Easel
Pisces Fishes Janette and Stewart Terry
Piscis Australis Southern Fish Ruby Leong-Moore
Puppis Stern
Pyxis Mariner's Compass
Reticulum Net Anonymous
Sagitta Arrow
Sagittarius Archer Gill McBey
Scorpius Scorpion Omar Alqaraghuli
Sculptor Sculptor's Chisel
Scutum Shield
Serpens Caput Snake Head
Serpens Cauda Snake Tail
Sextans Sextant
Taurus Bull Stephen Darling
Telescopium Telescope
Triangulum Triangle
Triangulum Australe Southern Triangles
Tucana Toucan Abbie Taylor, Luke and Emerson Gane
Ursa Major Greater Bear
Ursa Minor Lesser Bear
Vela Sail
Virgo Maiden Reilly Curran
Volans Flying Fish
Vulpecula Fox Magnus Hummel Smith

 

​Other Donations

Ruth McDonald