Media Contact: Susan Chicoine

619-685-5743 / 619-325-9416




Photo Captions:   digital show Cosmic Collisions


1. LunarStill: In the violent aftermath of a collision four-and-a-half billion years ago between a young Earth and a Mars-sized wandering body, the remaining debris circling Earth quickly starts to coalesce into our Moon.                                                                                 


2. Canup:  A young Earth moments after a collision with a Mars-sized wandering body four-and-a-half billion years ago                                                                             


3. Soho: Streams of charged particles from the fiery surface of the Sun—the solar wind—race toward Earth at over a million miles an hour in this image taken by NASA satellites.  


4. SunEarth: Graphic representation shows how most of the ionized particles from the solar wind are deflected off the protective cocoon of Earth’s magnetic field.     


5. KT Impact: A dramatic re-creation of the meteorite impact that hastened the end of the Age of Dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a highlight of Cosmic Collisions.   


6. Mitigation:  A possible “doomsday” asteroid heads for a collision with Earth. 


7. Stellar Collision: Two small stars smash together to form a larger rejuvenated star in the heart of a globular cluster on the edge of our Milky Way galaxy.                      


8. Galaxy Collision: Our Milky Way galaxy and its closest neighbor, the Andromeda spiral galaxy, swirl headlong into each other in an intergalactic collision predicted to occur billions of years in the future.

9. Asteroid3.27217: The asteroid thought to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.


10. CometEarth3.02905:  A comet streaks past the sun towards earth.


11. AsteroidEarthCSC3b.22013: An asteroid passes earth.


12, EarthfallCSC3b.23529: Pieces raining down on earth from collision believed to have caused the creation of the moon.


13. Stellar Galaxy Collision3.30962: A galaxy colliding with a star.


14. Sun3.14116: The surface of the sun.


15. EarthMagneticField3.16781: Space debris passing through the earth’s magnetic field.


All photos courtesy of  © American Museum of Natural History;

except 3/Soho & 4/SunEarth courtesy of  © American Museum of Natural History/NASA


PLEASE NOTE:  These images are supplied free solely for one-time use by print, broadcast, and online media for publicity purposes related to Cosmic Collisions.  No other use of these images is permitted without express written permission.


Space to English translations: Canup is the formation of the Moon; Soho is the name of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite that takes the great high resolution video and images of the Sun.

KT Impact refers to the event that may have eliminated the dinosaurs; also known as the K-T extinction event, it is associated with a geological signature known variously as the K–T boundary, the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary or the K–Pg boundary, usually a thin band of sedimentation visible wherever rocks of this age are exposed.




Press Releases, Backgrounders and Photo Captions:

High-Resolution Photographs for all RH FLEET Exhibits and Giant Dome Theatre Shows:

B-roll of Giant Dome Theatre Shows & production footage of exhibits and galleries on the

Fleet Media DropBox:; Click on sign in; email; password pr1973media; "RHF Public Relations" folder.



San Diego CA–December 10, 2012 —A spectacular immersive digital theater experience, Cosmic Collisions, narrated by award-winning actor, director and producer Robert Redford, crashes into the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center’s Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Dome Theater on Saturday, January 19! Featuring stunning images from space and breathtaking visualizations based on cutting-edge scientific data, the dazzling new Cosmic Collisions reveals the unimaginable, explosive encounters that shaped our solar system, changed the course of life on Earth and continue to transform our galaxy and dynamic universe.


From subatomic particles to the largest galaxies, cosmic collisions are a universal force of nature. Creative and also destructive, dynamic and dazzling, collisions have resulted in many things we take for granted—the luminescent Moon, the Sun’s warmth and light, our changing seasons and waves washing up on a sandy shore. They’ve ended the age of dinosaurs and changed the very map of the cosmos, reforming galaxies and giving birth to new stars and new worlds. Cosmic Collisions provides an unprecedented and extraordinary view of these events—both catastrophic and constructive—that have shaped our world and our universe.


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. Groundbreaking scientific simulations and visualizations based on cutting-edge research developed by American Museum of Natural History astrophysicists, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other international colleagues explore the full range of space collisions, past, present and future.


Viewers will witness the violent face of our Sun, imaged by NASA satellites, that produces enormous ejections of material from our star toward 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. Cosmic Collisions also shows 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.


An engrossing, immersive digital theater experience created by the American Museum of Natural History visualization and production experts with the cooperation of NASA and more than 25 leading scientists from the United States and abroad, Cosmic Collisions launches visitors on an awe-inspiring trip through space and time. The show focuses on the full range of collisions, from catastrophic planetary impacts and the merging of massive galaxies to the continual explosions occurring in the center of the Sun and the incessant barrage of small ionized particles in the solar wind ricocheting off Earth’s magnetic field creating other-worldly conditions called “space weather.” Cosmic Collisions brings together the visionary genius of scientists and the insatiable curiosity of explorers to shed light on the universe’s most complex and mysterious processes. Take the journey into deep space to learn and be enriched by this unique experience!


Cosmic Collisions was developed by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in

collaboration with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science; GOTO, Inc., Tokyo, Japan; and the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, China. Cosmic Collisions was created by the American Museum of Natural History with the major support and partnership of the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and was made possible with the generous support of CIT.


Cosmic Collisions was written by Stephanie Abrams, award-winning writer and director of

documentaries for PBS and USA Networks, and Emmy Award-winner Louise A. Gikow, with music by

renowned Brazilian pianist and composer Marcelo Zarvos and award-winning composer Robert Miller.


Cosmic Collisions opens Saturday, January 19, 2013, and will run in an open-ended engagement. The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Heikoff Dome Theater is located at 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101. Giant Dome Screen Theater admission (1 film + access to all exhibit galleries): Adults $15.75; Children $12.75; Seniors $12.75. The Fleet’s normal hours are Monday–Thursday 10AM–5PM, Friday & Saturday: 10AM– 7PM, and Sunday: 10AM–6PM. For information on tickets and show times, call (619) 238-1233 or visit our website at


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If you would like complimentary tickets to see this or any IMAX film or digital show or visit the exhibitions, please contact Susan Chicoine directly at 685-5743/619 325-9416.  Let me know what date and how many, and I will leave passes for you at the will call window.