Second Life is a virtual world. Linden Lab creates the software and manages the servers that host this world.  Users have crafted all of the objects within Second Life (e.g. clothes, houses, cars) to be used by their 2 million avatars.  

To learn more, you can watch part one and part two of the talk I gave about science education using Second Life at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  For details about what we are doing at Elon, you can read Second LIfe’s Role in a Curriculum, an article in Campus Technology.

Space Science and Astronomy

Education in Second Life

International Spaceflight Museum

Users often pool talents and resources to construct virtual islands that focus on their common interest. One such group has built the International Spaceflight Museum, committed to constructing and displaying accurate models of rockets and spacecraft.

Contact Paradox Olbers or visit Spaceport Alpha.

The Second Life Planetarium

Students at Elon University have written and premiered seven shows about astronomy using a simple planetarium language that controls the motion of the stars and the slide projectors.

Contact Chaac Amarula or visit Spaceport Alpha.

Telescope Training Game

While Second Life is not truly a game, it is a useful platform for developing games.  A telescope near the planetarium teaches students how to point a real one using the rules of the electronic toy, Simon.

Contact Chaac Amarula or visit Spaceport Alpha.

Moon Landing Site

A recreation of the Apollo 11 site illustrates the layout of the assorted science projects deployed by astronauts during the first manned landing on the Moon.

Contact Chaac Amarula or visit Elon.


  1. BulletRegister for a free account and download the client for Second Life.

  2. BulletGet news and upcoming events about The International Spaceflight Museum.

  3. BulletView my conference poster, Space Science Outreach in the Virtual World of Second Life (3.3 Mb PDF).

  4. BulletRead the latest about my own work on my research blog.

  5. BulletTeleport to any of the places above by clicking on its name.

Mountaintop Observatory

Denver University has constructed a scale model of the Meyer-Womble Observatory atop Mt. Evans.  The interior includes the telescope, support equipment, and living quarters for visiting astronomers.

Contact zazen Manbi or visit Science School.

Solar Eclipse Museum

This facility was created for San Francisco’s Exploratorium to educate the public about the 2006 total solar eclipse. Crafted by renowned Second Life builder Aimee Weber, this building’s exterior is modeled after the Hayden Planetarium in New York.

Contact zazen Manbi or visit Science School.

History of the Earth and Life on Earth

Students in Chris Impey’s astrobiology course at the University of Arizona contributed to his History of the Earth and Life on Earth exhibit.

Contact Ourania Fizgig or visit LivingintheUniverse.

Slacker Planetarium

The people behind Slacker Astronomy have a presence within Second Life where they host speeches and broadcast recent podcasts.

Contact Slacker Speedwell or visit Carmine.

NASA’s Explorer Island

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab has constructed an island with a mock-up of misison control, exhibits for several space science spacecraft, and “Mars mountain.”

Contact Jet Burns or visit Explorer Island.

The SciLands

Several residents in Second Life have worked together to create an archipelago of virtual islands dedicated to science, technology, engineering, and math education.

Contact Davee Commerce or visit SciLands.

The Rocketeers

At the Frontier Spaceport, Jimbo Perhaps and Rocket Sellers host workshops on the building of virtual rockets in Second Life.

Contact Rocket Sellers or visit Space Studies Institute.