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Space center adds fiery asteroid exhibit

In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the sky of Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 100 people, including many hurt by broken glass. (AP Photo/Nasha gazeta, www.ng.kz) MOSB105

In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia, provided by Nasha Gazeta newspaper, on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 a meteorite contrail is seen. A meteor streaked across the sky of Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and reportedly injuring around 100 people, including many hurt by broken glass. (AP Photo/Nasha gazeta, www.ng.kz) MOSB105

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex just opened a new exhibit that spotlights asteroids, comets and meteorites. Called "Great Balls of Fire," the 1,500-square-foot exhibit deals with the projectiles' possible risks, and it offers hands-on components that let visitors see how scientists determine the path of near-Earth objects. There is also an Asteroid Encounter to test your knowledge as you blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter. Another interactive feature is the Science Fact or Science Fiction Theater, where clips from movies and television are shown to see if the science is right. You can also see what would happen if a meteor hit your town: Visitors pick the size for an asteroid or comet and then enter the ZIP code of a place for impact; results appear on a Google Maps display. You can examine rocks and use tests to determine if they're meteorites and look at rock cross-sections with a magnifier. And there's also a display explaining why scientists think meteor impact may have caused the extinction of dinosaurs. Admission to the space center complex starts at $40 at kennedyspacecenter.com. — Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

Space center adds fiery asteroid exhibit 07/03/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 7:10pm]
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