Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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New American Museum Of Natural History Show Explores Dark Matter, Dark Energy

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There's really no light show that can outshine or rival the starry night sky, but a new space show at the American Museum of Natural History is taking a different look at the cosmos and investigating what's hiding in the shadows. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

The American Museum of Natural History is shedding light on some of today's biggest scientific mysteries with its new planetarium space show, "Dark Universe." The new 24-minute film explores two great cosmic conundrums: dark matter and dark energy.

Dark energy is basically the pressure that's expanding the universe. Dark matter, along with dark energy, makes up most of our cosmos but remains an enigma.

"They're huge concepts, but they're really at the core of our being in the sense that we wonder where we can from," says Carter Emmart, the director of "Dark Universe." "Walking down the street, we don't encounter the expanding universe or dark matter and all that, but it's around us, and it's part of the wonder of looking up and just trying to figure this out."

The show is designed to be enjoyed by curious kids and accomplished scientists alike, sweeping through the night sky and into deep space. Adding even more star power to this production is that astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson narrates.

"We'll tell you the story of the universe in 24 minutes, so that's always a challenge, and that's why the visualizations matter," Tyson says. "The visual communicates 100 times more information than do the words."

Tyson understands the pull of a great film. He made headlines after tweeting some critiques of the recent George Clooney/Sandra Bullock space flick "Gravity."

"What that did was, kept 'Gravity' in the news for longer because then, everybody started talking about it, physics teachers, physics professors, school groups, and I think that's a good thing," he says. "If people are arguing about the physics of a number one movie, you know things are changing in this world."

"Dark Universe" does just that, expanding our knowledge of the cosmos through an unforgettable journey across space.

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