Explore limitless time and space in new Museum of Arts and Sciences exhibition

May 30, 2014 

Maybe you’ve always wondered what’s out there. Maybe you’ve heard of black holes and time warps. Maybe you’re just a sci-fi geek or have kids who love astronomy. The exhibition, “Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists,” at the Museum of Arts and Sciences, may just be perfect for you.

“Scientists have long speculated about the existence of black holes and theorize that black holes form when massive stars collapse,” said Melanie Byas, director of marketing and communications for the Museum of Arts and Sciences, in an email.

Explaining black holes, Byas said a black hole is “an extremely massive concentration of matter, created when the largest stars collapse at the end of their lives. Astronomers theorize that a point with infinite density -- called a singularity -- lies at the center of black holes. It’s long been the subject matter of science fiction stories, and now guests at the museum can explore the black hole that lies at the center of the Milky Way. We want people to be able to explore the phenomena around a black hole, and our exhibit allows you to ‘travel through space’ and see what really happens in a black hole.”

The interactive exhibit, on display through Aug. 31, is from the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

“Some of the features show warped space, the slowing of time, and the dangerous magnetic fields and radiation that could leave you stranded -- all from the safety of the museum, of course. One really fun feature is the ability for guests to collect discoveries and generate your own personalized website, remotely accessible only by the guest who made it,” she said.

As a special bonus, the film featured in the Mark Smith Planetarium ties in with the exhibit.

“The film, ‘Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity,’ is one of the most successful full-dome shows ever produced,” Byas said. “It’s narrated by Academy-Award nominated actor Liam Neeson and we are confident guests will really enjoy it.”

For those who are interested in space exploration, the museum joins forces with the Middle Georgia Astronomical Society (MGAS) to promote an interest in astronomy in the midstate area. This is done through periodic meetings with guest speakers and presentations, special events, star parties and observation nights. Dues to the MGAS are only $12 per year for a whole family.

“We invite everyone to join us for this exhibit, and to explore the rest of the museum. It’s definitely a family-friendly exhibit that really sparks the imagination. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid, or a kid at heart, but most of us have wondered what’s out there. Once you’ve been here, you’ll have a bit more of an idea and you can say you’ve seen it for yourself,” Byas said.

If you need more reasons to visit the museum, Byas said it’s the largest general purpose museum in Georgia and the only cultural institution in the state dedicated to both art and science.

“We offer a wide variety of art and science exhibitions, full-dome planetarium, mini-zoo with more than 70 live animals, an interactive Discovery House, beautiful nature trails, a 200-seat auditorium, gift store and more,” she said.

“Black Holes: Space Warps & Time Twists”

When: On display through Aug. 31

Where: Museum of Arts and Sciences, 4182 Forsyth Road

Cost: Free with museum admission of $5-$10

Information: 478-477-3232, www.masmacon.com

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