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Comets, Asteroids, Meteors: Great Balls of Fire!

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There’s more in outer space than stars and planets! Come explore the mysteries of other celestial objects at Discovery Center’s new temporary exhibition—Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors: Great Balls of Fire!

Take yourself on an astronomical adventure as you climb into a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter on a mission to gather data about asteroids and comets. Role play as an “explorer-in-training” to gather data about differences asteroids and planets, and comets. Use these interactive experiences to:

• Find out where comets come from and how they are formed.
• Experiment with the forces that influence the path of an object through the solar system.
• Determine the positioning of asteroid belts and comets when you create a solar system of your own, and
• Determine whether those Hollywood movie scenes are science or fiction.

Meanwhile, find out what happens back on Earth as you take an interactive look at meteors and impacts through a variety of experiences. Did the catastrophic event that did-in the dinos come from outer space, and could it happen again? Find out if meteor showers are caused by chunks of rock or bits of dust. Use scientific tests on a suspected rock to see if it really is a fallen meteorite...or a “meteor wrong."

Your family will want to stay and explore more in this colorful exhibition developed by the Space Science Institute (SSI). Thanks to premiere sponsor Woodward with additional support from Forest City Gear, Discovery Center joins SSI in their mission to share the joy of science and educate communities. Great Balls of Fire! runs September 30, 2017 through January 14, 2018. Admission is $10 public (including museum admission); Members are free.

Subarea:Rockford Downtown

Discovery Center Museum - 711 N. Main St., Rockford, IL 61103 - From I-90 and E. State St. (US Business 20): west on Business 20 6.5 miles to IL 2 north (Wyman St., first street past the Rock River); right on IL 2 five blocks to the museum complex on the right side of the one-way street (N. Main St.). From the south, I-39: west on US 20 Bypass to IL 2 (S. Main St.); north on IL 2 through the downtown to the museum complex. Park in the Riverfront Museum parking lot or the Burpee Museum lot. An above-ground tunnel connects Riverfront Museum Park and Burpee Museum.

Comets, Asteroids, Meteors: Great Balls of Fire!
  • December 16 - January 14, 2018
  • Discovery Center Museum
  • $10 (including museum admission) | Free for members
  • Recurring daily