Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors

The Museum of Discovery and Science will open a new exhibit, Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors, on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 11 a.m. Great Balls of Fire explores the mysteries of these celestial objects. The threat of a catastrophic impact from an asteroid or comet is a staple of popular culture. If there was a dinosaur killer in Earth’s past, is there a human killer in our future? What are the chances and how do we assess the risks? These and many other questions are answered in Great Balls of Fire.

 

The exhibition is divided into four areas: Origins, Asteroids, Comets, and Impacts. From the Space Science Institute, this exhibit includes a variety of interactive, multimedia experiences, ranging from straightforward computer-based activities to a larger scale, “pod” where visitors play the role of “explorers-in-training” – an important theme that threads throughout the exhibit.

 

This interactive exhibit takes visitors on an astronomical adventure to climb into a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter on a mission to gather data about asteroids and comets. Navigate through a display of art and artifacts that tell the story of comet observations throughout human history. Learn the size of the average rock in a meteor shower event (it’s smaller than you think!). See what would happen if asteroids or comets of various sizes hit your hometown. Guests will also use a variety of tests (magnetism, color, density/relative weight) to detect if a rock is a meteorite (or a meteor-wrong) and determine if clips from Hollywood films are Science Fact or Science Fiction. Explorers can end their expedition by creating their own solar system, including asteroid belts and comets.

Add to your out-of-this-world adventure through the power of IMAX 3D with two spectacular space themed films: HUBBLE 3D enables moviegoers to journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings, and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt some of the most difficult and important tasks in NASA’s history. The film, narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, offers an inspiring and unique look into the Hubble Space Telescope’s legacy and highlights its profound impact on the way we view the universe and ourselves.

 

SPACE STATION 3D is the story of the greatest engineering feat since landing a man on the moon – the construction of the International Space Station. The global collaborative mission unites 16 nations with a common goal to further human space exploration. Narrated by multi-Academy Award® nominee Tom Cruise, SPACE STATION 3D transports audiences 220 miles above Earth to experience life in space. As audiences blast off, they are joined by the astronauts and cosmonauts who directed and filmed their in-orbit assembly of the International Space Station.

 

PLANETARIUM SHOWS October 23, 24, 25 and November 27, 28, 29, 2015

1:30 p.m. Star Stories

Learn about stars, the distance between heavenly bodies, star brightness and how to use star constellations as a guide.

 

3:30 p.m. The Search for Life in the Universe

Take a look forward from the big bang, in search of those special places that might harbor life, including all of the planets in our solar system.

 

This exhibit and the IMAX space films and related programs are supported by a grant from the

John H. Rau Space Education Fund of Community Foundation of Broward for Beyond the Kármán Line: A Comprehensive Learning Initiative in Space Science. The Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA, developed the Great Balls of Fire national traveling exhibition.

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