Cosmic Collisions

The breathtaking new Space Show, Cosmic Collisions, narrated by award-winning actor, director, and producer Robert Redford, is now showing, at the Hayden Planetarium in the Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space.

A spectacular immersive theater experience, Cosmic Collisions launches visitors on a thrilling trip through space and time—well beyond the calm face of the night sky—to explore cosmic collisions, hypersonic impacts that drive the dynamic and continuing evolution of the universe, read more about Cosmic Collisions at Groundbreaking scientific simulations and visualizations based on cutting-edge research developed by Museum astrophysicists, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other international colleagues—many seen for the first time—depict the dramatic and explosive encounters that shaped our solar system, changed the course of life on Earth, and continue to transform our galaxy. The new show explores the full range of space collisions, past, present, and future.

Cosmic Collisions

Viewers will witness the violent face of our Sun, imaged by NASA satellites, that produces enormous ejections of material from our star towards our planet. The resulting subatomic clashes, as streams of charged particles from the Sun strike the Earth’s magnetic field, produce the eerie glow of the aurora borealis and the aurora australis that fill the Hayden dome. Cosmic Collisions will also show the creation of our Moon some five billion years ago when a wandering planetoid struck Earth; the violent meeting of two stars at the edge of the galaxy; and the future collision of our Milky Way galaxy with our closest neighbor, the Andromeda spiral galaxy, a cosmic crash that will produce a new giant elliptical galaxy billions of years from now.

Audiences will feel the ground shake beneath them as they experience a thrilling recreation of the meteorite impact that hastened the end of the Age of Dinosaurs 65 million years ago and cleared the way for mammals like us to thrive. Another dramatic sequence highlights a frightening future scenario where humanity desperately attempts to divert the path of an oncoming “doomsday” asteroid headed on a collision course with Earth.

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