MOAS Pluto-Palooza! Celebrating the Historic Flyby of the New Horizons Spacecraft

Daytona Beach, FL (July xx, 2015)

Come to the Museum of Arts & Sciences on Tuesday, July 14th to celebrate the historic first time flyby of the dwarf planet, Pluto, by the New Horizons spacecraft that will have occurred at 7:50 a.m. EDT that morning. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will be filled with shows and presentations that will highlight the exciting mission and the role that Pluto plays in our solar system.

Families with children can take part in our Family Pluto Craft where individuals can build their own paper model of the New Horizons spacecraft that has made a 4.5 billion mile journey through space to Pluto. They can also use their imagination to decorate their own Pluto and its moons as well! Documentaries about Pluto will be held hourly in the Root Family Auditorium. There will be hourly shows and presentations in the Planetarium including a New Horizons Mission Update, a Children’s Planetarium Show called The Little Star That Could along with New Horizons for a Little Planet, and a guest planetarium presentations called Why I Helped Kill Pluto and Why It Had It Coming with Dr. Terry Oswalt, professor and department chair of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Department of Physical Sciences. We hope to see everyone to help us celebrate this momentous occasion in history.

The dwarf planet, Pluto, was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh when he detected a tiny speck in the infinite void of space. Fast forward to 85 years later and surprisingly, we know very little about Pluto. At this small world’s vast distance, even one of the most powerful astronomical devices ever conceived, the space-based Hubble Space Telescope, has only been able to resolve it as a messy smudge a few pixels across.

Launched in 2006 aboard the Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, New Horizons became the second swiftest spacecraft ever launched, attaining an enormous velocity of 36,000 mph, or 10 miles per second. It has taken over nine years to reach its plutonian destination and will be at its closest approach at 7:50 a.m. on July 14, 2015. On this day, New Horizons will be 4.2 billion miles away from Earth and will skim over the surface of Pluto at just over 6,200 miles high. At that height, the images captured will have a resolution of 400 meters (about 1300 feet) per pixel, and will not be available immediately due to the extreme distance of the spacecraft. For weeks and months after the momentous flyby, data will be continually streamed to Earth for scientists to study for years to come.

Exhibits and dates subject to change. 

###

For more information please visit www.moas.org or contact Jenelle Codianne at jenelle@moas.org

About the Museum of Arts & Sciences - The Museum of Arts & Sciences (MOAS) is the primary art, science and history museum in Central Florida. The area's largest museum, MOAS is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate. Located on a 90-acre Florida nature preserve, the 100,000 square foot facility is host to over 30,000 objects including the Dow Gallery of American Art, one of the finest collections of American art in the Southeast, the Cuban Foundation Museum showcasing one of the most significant collections of Cuban paintings in the United States, the Schulte Gallery of Chinese Art, the Bouchelle Collection and Gallery of Decorative Arts, the largest and most comprehensive collection in the South, and the Root Family Museum featuring restored railroad cars, antique automobiles and the largest collection of Coca-Cola® memorabilia in Florida. The Helene B. Roberson Visible Storage Building exhibits thousands of objects from many donors which are owned by the Museum, while the Linda and Williams Children’s Museum presents an interactive experience for children. The Gillespy Gallery of Sub-Saharan African artifacts, a new state-of-the-art planetarium and the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art showcasing the largest collection of Florida-based art in the world, rounds out areas to explore inside the Museum of Arts & Sciences.

Museum Hours are 10am-5pm (Monday-Saturday) and 11am-5pm (Sunday). Museum of Arts & Sciences admission is $12.95 adults; $6.95 children 6-17; $10.95 seniors and students; members and children 5 and under are free. Daily Planetarium shows and weekly laser shows. Museum of Arts & Sciences admission includes one Planetarium show. Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art admission is $10.95 adults; $4.95 children 6-17; $8.95 seniors and students; members and children 5 and under are free. Combo ticket admission is $18.95 adults; $9.95 children 6-17; $16.95 seniors and students; members and children 5 and under are free. Combo ticket admission includes on Planetarium show. Additional Planetarium shows are $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 17 and under. Parking is free. Admission is FREE for Volusia County residents the first Tuesday of each month (does not include Planetarium shows). MOAS is fully accessible to the handicapped. MOAS is located at 352 S. Nova Road, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114. For more information call 386.255.0285 or visit the website www.moas.org.

MOAS is a not‐for‐profit educational institution founded in 1955 and chartered by the State of Florida in 1962. The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Programs sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the County of Volusia.

Exhibits and dates subject to change.