Treat yourself to a fascinating other-worldly experience at the Arizona State University (ASU) Gallery of Scientific Exploration. The Gallery is geared to educating the public about the wonders of earth and space science through digital media, interactive displays and public lectures presented in a high-definition theater. There are also glass-enclosed research laboratories that allow visitors to see scientists at work.
One of the exhibits is a model of the Mars rover Curiosity. It’s located in the lobby and is one of the first things you see upon entering the Gallery. Another cool exhibit is EarthScope which has to do with earthquakes. Visitors can actually create their own earthquake by jumping in place and then see the resultant tremor recorded on the exhibit seismograph.
Anyone who has an interest in meteorites and asteroids will want to check out the floor to meteorite display on the second floor. They range in size from little itty-bitty to large and come in a variety of shapes. The samples have been gathered from sights around the world and are part of ASU’s extensive meteorite collection.
The 3-D planetarium-styles show in the Marston Exploration Theater is not to be missed. It’s nothing like the traditional planetarium where you sit in a domed theater and look up at projected images of the heavens. The Marston Exploration Theater is more like an IMAX theater with amphitheater seating and 3-D images projected onto a huge screen at the front. The 3-D effect is excellent and makes it seem like you can reach out and touch the stars, planets and asteroids. There are two shows to choose from: To the Edge of the Universe and Everything in Between is a live, narrated journey from earth to the cosmic background radiation; and Undiscovered Worlds explores discoveries and current research of Exoplanets (worlds beyond the Solar System).
The ASU Gallery of Scientific Exploration and Marston Exploration Theater shows are open to the public year-round. As the temperatures rice, they should be on everyone’s list of cool things to do this summer. Both are located at ASU Tempe campus in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. year-round and also on Saturday when Marston Exploration Theater shows are taking place. The Marston Exploration Theater shows will continue through the summer on Wednesday and Saturday, but be sure to check the website or call 480-965-6891 for show times. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $5.50 for students and may be purchased online or at the door. Parking is convenient at the Rural Road parking structure which is the closest parking to ISTB 4. Rates for visitor lots are $3 per hour during the week and free on weekends.
For more information on Tempe events, visit www.tempetourism.com/events/.