Newark Museum Presents Great Balls of Fire! Comets, Asteroids, Meteors

Newark Museum Presents Great Balls of Fire! Comets, Asteroids, Meteors

Newark, NJ

What exactly are asteroids, comets and meteorites, and where do they come from? What can they tell us about Earth and the origins of our Solar System? The Newark Museum's upcoming exhibition Great Balls of Fire! Comets, Asteroids, Meteors explores recent discoveries and cutting-edge science relating to these incredible objects. It opens on October 1 and runs through Jan. 4, 2015.

The exhibition is divided into four areas: Origins, Asteroids, Comets and Impacts. It includes a variety of interactive, multimedia experiences. Visitors can have an Asteroid Encounter inside a spaceship that rockets them to the edge of the solar system to learn where asteroids originate and how they can sometimes impact planets. They can test their knowledge of the truth about comets and asteroids at the Science Fact or Science Fiction Theater. Children and adults alike will enjoy discovering the facts about comets, asteroids and meteors and how they have helped shape our world and how they might change it in the future.

While asteroids and comets are popular subjects for movies like "Armageddon" and "Deep Impact," they are also playing their own starring roles in scientific research. Over the past several years, a small fleet of NASA probes and space telescopes have been exploring asteroids and comets. In 2013, more than a thousand people in Chelyabinsk, Russia were injured when an asteroid exploded in the air above their city. With all this interest and excitement, asteroids and comets are compelling subjects for an exhibition.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum is holding Astrofest on Saturday, October 18, from 10 am to 4:30 pm. This fun-filled family festival will allow kids to explore space and astronomy with hands-on activities, demonstrations and laser shows. In addition, Firefall, a new planetarium show, will open Wednesday, October 1 at the Dreyfuss Planetarium to compliment the exhibit.

The Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NASA, has developed this national traveling exhibition program. This work was completed by the Space Science Institute, which was supported by NSF under Grant No. ESI-0404414.