On the road: The Rose Center for Earth and Space

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Following the Northeast Astronomy Forum in Suffern, New York, I traveled to New York City to work on a couple stories for future issues of the magazine. I won’t divulge exactly what they will be, but let me share a few photos of the day I had at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History. The Rose Center is the preeminent astronomy educational museum and planetarium in the United States, and it is under the direction of a good friend of the magazine, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

The Rose Center for Earth and Space features a huge, iconic sphere with a theater at its center, in turn surrounded by numerous exhibits about astronomy and cosmology. All photos by David J. Eicher

 When you’re in New York, I strongly encourage you to visit it. The museum consists of a huge sphere that houses a theater, surrounded by an enormous spiral ramp on which the history of the universe is explained. The lowest floor contains numerous astronomical exhibits. This museum is of course where, before the IAU got around to officially “demoting” Pluto to dwarf planet status, the display set Pluto aside with other Kuiper Belt objects, upsetting gazillions of school children. In any case, the exhibits here are amazing, suffice it to say, as with the main mass of the Willemette Meteorite, the largest from North America.

Stay tuned for more.

A long descending path at the Rose Center allows visitors to see the history of major events in the universe, through all 13.7 billion years.

Exhibits in the history of the universe display make astronomy fun for kids.

Among the relics featured in the Rose Center is the main mass of the Willamette Meteorite, an iron-nickel that fell in Oregon and is the largest meteorite ever found in North America. It is a 15.5-ton chunk that probably fell in Canada in antiquity and was transported by ice southward into Oregon.

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