Special Exhibits

Great Balls of Fire - Coming to Earth this Fall

September 22 - December 16

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There’s more in outer space than stars and planets! Come explore the mysteries of other celestial objects at Discovery Center’s new temporary exhibition—Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors: Great Balls of Fire!

Take yourself on an astronomical adventure as you climb into a “spaceship” and blast off to the asteroid belt and Jupiter on a mission to gather data about asteroids and comets. Role play as an “explorer-in-training” to gather data about differences asteroids and planets, and comets. Use these interactive experiences to:

• Find out where comets come from and how they are formed.
• Experiment with the forces that influence the path of an object through the solar system.
• Determine the positioning of asteroid belts and comets when you create a solar system of your own, and
• Determine whether those Hollywood movie scenes are science or fiction.

Meanwhile, find out what happens back on Earth as you take an interactive look at meteors and impacts through a variety of experiences. Did the catastrophic event that did-in the dinos come from outer space, and could it happen again? Find out if meteor showers are caused by chunks of rock or bits of dust. Use scientific tests on a suspected rock to see if it really is a fallen meteorite...or a “meteor wrong”.

Your family will want to stay and explore more in this colorful exhibition developed by the Space Science Institute (SSI). Thanks to premiere sponsor Woodward. Additional support provided by Kiwanis Club of Rockford, Aqua-Aerobic Systems, and Kjellstrom Family Foundation of CFNIL. 

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Great balls of fire sponsors



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January 12 - May 12, 2019

The world’s most beloved #1 blue engine rolls into Discovery Center this winter! Explore the sights and sounds of the Island of Sodor with Thomas and his friends!
• Climb inside Thomas' cab to explore the engine's inner workings
• Fix Percy's wobbly wheels, load coal, and fill his tank from the water tower
• Pull levers for train noises
• Suit up as the conductor and sell train tickets
• Load luggage, livestock and other freight into train cars

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