If you go
What: Mars in 3-D exhibit
Where: Science Central, 1950 N. Clinton St., Fort Wayne
When: Today through early September
Cost: Free today for the ribbon-cutting and opening. Regular museum admission of $8 for children ages 3 through 12 and adults and $7 for seniors after today. Admission is free for children younger than 2.
Using current technology, it would take about seven months to get to Mars.
But for a good look at the planet’s surface, a quick trip to Science Central might suffice.
Leaders at the downtown science museum are announcing the start of a new exhibition today called Mars in 3-D. The exhibit, open through early September, features 6-foot high photographs of the planet’s terrain, including ice caps, impact craters and sedimentation drifts.
The exhibit, a project of the German Aerospace Center, has already completed a multiyear tour around Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
And Science Central’s exhibit will kick off the 2012 U.S. tour.
“Mars is a fascinating planet,” said Science Central Executive Director Martin S. Fisher. “It’s only half the diameter of earth but it has some of the oldest records of our solar system.”
To mark the opening, Science Central will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. today and make admission free, today only. After the ceremony, an expert from the German Aerospace Center, Germany’s space agency, will give special presentations about Mars and the space probe and camera that generated the images. In addition, Deputy Mayor Mark Becker and State Rep. Win Moses are scheduled to speak.
Since 2004, a stereo camera on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express space probe – Europe’s first mission to another planet – has been mapping Mars, according to Fisher.
The camera, designed and built by the German Aerospace Center, has been producing colorful, high-resolution images. The pictures focus on six forces that formed Mars over billions of years: volcanism, water, ice, erosion, wind and tectonics.
Using red and blue glasses, Science Central visitors can look at both the largest canyon and the largest volcano in the solar system. People can also see the world premiere of an image of Phobos, one of Mars’ moons.
Since the exhibit was developed by the German Aerospace Center, signs are in both English and German. The cost for entrance into Science Central is usually $8. Fisher said Evans Toyota and Frontier Communications were sponsors for the exhibit.
“We’re very excited,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get this exhibit here for four years.”