New meteorite exhibit to debut at planetarium

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    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Want to touch space?

    The University of Louisville Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium will debut a new permanent meteorite exhibit Dec. 17 that includes meteorites visitors can touch.

    The exhibit of 132 specimens, 90 of which are meteorites, were donated from the private collection of Louisvillian William G. Russell.

    It includes a fragment of a meteor that hit Louisville in 1977, damaging buildings and a car and creating a sonic boom heard as far away as West Point, Kentucky, and Georgetown, Indiana. Other highlights are Mars dust; a meteorite from our moon; a translucent meteorite; and iron meteorites that the public will be allowed to touch.

    The public is invited to the grand opening celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Visitors attending the grand opening can enter into a drawing to win a free one-year planetarium membership.

    “Meteorites are frozen bits of our early solar system from when it first formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago. Our exhibit allows visitors to examine and touch rocks that tell the story of the formation of our solar system,” said Tom Tretter, director of the planetarium.

    The exhibit will be open to the public during weekend public shows – the schedule is posted to http://louisville.edu/planetarium/events/public-shows. Additionally, visits can be scheduled for weekdays by calling 502-852-6665 or emailing planet@louisville.edu.

    For more information, contact Paula McGuffey, 502-852-5855.

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    Janet Cappiello covers student success for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since 2014.