Cosmic collisions, past and future, shown

March 6, 2006

A scientifically correct, 20-minute, $3 million science show called "Cosmic Collisions" opens March 18 at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

The show -- in production for more than a year by NASA and the American Museum of Natural History -- uses digital video to present a look at our universe, with stars, planets and even galaxies all colliding, based on scientific theories and data, The New York Times reported Monday. The show is narrated by actor Robert Redford.

The show's depictions include the collision of Earth with a Mars-sized planet more than 4 billion years ago, with the debris eventually forming the moon; and a giant asteroid that smashes into Earth at 40,000 mph 65 million years ago, eliminating three-quarters of the life on the planet.

One of the NASA scientists helping produce "Cosmic Collisions," Madhulika Guhathakurta, told The Times the planetarium show "offers a perspective that most ordinary people in this world have not seen before."

The show also includes a depiction of what scientists believe will occur in 2 billion years: a collision between Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way, and its nearest neighbor, Andromeda, that likely will create one vast new galaxy.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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