Space Sciences Lab

Scientific Instruments Collection

  • Miller-Urey lab equipment in Prehistoric Journey

  • Binocular and petrographic microscopes

  • Petrographic microscopes

  • Binocular microscopes

  • Petrographic microscope in Gem & Mineral Hall

  • Magnifier in Gem & Mineral Hall

  • Gold scale in Gem & Mineral Hall

The Scientific Instruments Collection at DMNS is composed of instruments that have been used by Museum staff members, have been part of crucial experiments involving key scientists in their pursuit of knowledge, or are excellent type-examples of particular instruments.

The collection is maintained not only for archival and research purposes, but more importantly, to educate and increase public recognition of the fundamental role that such instruments have played not only in the advancement of the current state of technology, but also in our knowledge of the natural sciences.  As the DMNS Scientific Collection has been developed, the emphasis has been preservation of instruments that are of particular importance to the history of science and artifacts of historical significance to the Museum.  The Collection is not intended for research use per se, although many of the items included have played important roles in past research programs.

Space Sciences Digital Collection

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 2007.

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 2005.

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 2003.

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 2001.

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 1999.

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 1997.

  • Hubble image of Mars near opposition in 1995.

The Space Sciences Department maintains a large collection of digital images and multimedia assets for use in exhibitions, education, research, public programs, and Space Odyssey. The Space Sciences Department is the keeper of such valued commodities as space images, movies, and animations that are stored in digital form. The collection is comprised of a wide range of astronomy topics that provide background knowledge on Earth, our solar system, cosmology, and many more topics related to astronomy and space science. Digital resources that have significant and long-lasting value are cataloged and stored in the digital collections database, along with the necessary copyright permissions. Assets from our collection grace exhibit components, where they offer visual interpretations and the basis for ongoing dialogue with our visitors.

Report a Fireball

  • All Sky camera

  • All Sky camera on the roof of DMNS

  • Colorado network of All Sky cameras

  • All Sky data

  • Eyewitness report maps

  • DMNS meteorite posse

  • Famous Peekskill fireball of October 1992

In 2001, a citizen science effort included a system of allsky cameras, many mounted on the rooftops of schools around the state and one atop the Museum, their purpose is to record the appearance of bright fireballs in the night sky so that the trajectories of the meteorites might be determined and the objects perhaps found.  In addition to helping locate fresh meteorite falls, an allsky camera can provide valuable information about the kind of meteors you can see on any clear night, and about annual meteor showers.

Through our association with Cloudbait Observatory, we actively investigate bright fireballs, both in the interest of determining the original orbit and also of recovering any possible meteorites that might be produced. If you live in Colorado or the surrounding states, and have recently seen a very bright meteor, please report it here.

An extensive network of allsky cameras are in place to record and supplement witness reports. If you witnessed a meteor and are curious if it was recorded, try the real-time meteor log which lists all events captured by the Cloudbait camera as they occur. These events are normally processed into the main database each morning.

A general overview of fireballs can be found here.

Space Sciences Newsroom

  • Collections Manager, Marta Lindsay

  • Content Manager, Dimitri Klebe

  • Newsroom Manager, Kim Evans

  • Volunteers, Fred Spafford and Mike Snodgrass

  • Space Odyssey

  • Scientists in Action remote broadcast

  • Star Party

  • Solar Viewing

  • Special Events

From the beginning, everyone who has ever had a vision for the project that became Space Odyssey agreed on one thing: that the information provided to the public be up-to-date and accurate.  This is involved and difficult to do, as the Museum discovered in earlier exhibitions. But space sciences found the way during the planning stages of Space Odyssey: the Space Sciences Newsroom.

The Newsroom is a physical location, a place inside the Museum with the necessary equipment and resources, where staff and volunteers research, prepare and deliver up-to-date astronomy and space science content to the floor of Space Odyssey.

The Newsroom team includes Collections Manager, Marta Lindsay, Content Specialist, Dr. Dimitri Klebe and Newsroom Manager, Kim Evans; in addition, the two Space Sciences curators (Steve Lee and Ka Chun Yu) act in advisory, content review, and volunteer/staff training capacities as needed. They work together with the Newsroom volunteers to deliver topical and exhibit resources, ranging from spaceflight missions and science news, to astrobiology and supernova, to the importance of infrared light in the study of astronomy. This content is made available to Galaxy Guides via the Galaxy Guide Web Portal or as high resolution images and movies for the exhibit screens and interactives. Context, usage, and focus can change over time by virtue of changing gallery programming, targeted facilitation, and the flexibility of digital media. The challenge for the Newsroom team is to provide the volunteer Galaxy Guides with the resources they need to provide spontaneous and engaging conversations with Museum visitors on a daily basis.

Newsroom staff and volunteers are instrumental in supporting curator lectures and assisting with special events such as mission launches and landings, star parties and remote broadcasts, providing digital media and technical support/expertise. Newsroom staff and volunteers also respond to letters and phone calls from museum visitors, the public and local news media interested in space science topics.


Citizen Science

Venus is a planet with a hot and dense atmosphere composed primarily of carbon dioxide. Although the wind velocity at the surface is nearly zero, at an altitude of 50-70 km, the velocity may be as high as 100 m/sec (about 200 miles/hour).

The current goal of the Venus Wind Project is to determine the wind velocity (speed and direction) of clouds. Citizen scientists measure persistent cloud features from infrared images recorded at the high-altitude NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii.

2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month
6 - 8 p.m.

For more information about the Venus Winds Project contact Mark A. Bullock []
To inquire about joining the Venus Winds Project contact Arthur Tarr []

60 Minutes in Space

Scientists from the Space Sciences Department at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science take you "behind the stories" using the best images and animation available to help understand the latest developments.

January 2016 - Dimitri Klebe kicks things off this month with a look at the possible discovery of a ninth planet. He talks about how researchers discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations.

Dimitri's next story comes from research presented at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society that poses the question "Could Globular Clusters Nurture Interstellar Civilizations?"

Dimitri's final story focuses on a study using archival data from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes to find objects with similar properties to Eta Carinae in other galaxies.

Steve Lee brings us up to date on the latest happenings on Mars. Opportunity rover is keeping busy through the depth of Martian winter and Curiosity takes a sandy selfie.

Next up, Steve talks about three Expedition 44 crewmembers' return to Earth after a 141-day stay in orbit.

Steve's next story looks at NASA's commercial crew program, SpaceX's recent launches, and Blue Origin's reusable booster launch and landing.

Steve's final story for this month covers the 30th Anniversary of the Challenger shuttle disaster and NASA's Day of Remembrance.

Dimitri Klebe and the 9th Planet
Runtime: 15:35

Dimitri Klebe - Could Globular Clusters Nurture Interstellar Civilizations
Runtime: 7:06

Dimitri Klebe - Finding "Twins" of Eta Carinae in Other Galaxies
Runtime: 5:15

Steve Lee - Mars Rover Updates
Runtime: 18:39

Steve Lee - ISS crew members return to Earth
Runtime: 5:48

Steve Lee - Commercial Space Program update
Runtime: 13:08

Steve Lee - NASA's Day of Remembrance
Runtime: 2:11

Links to Dimitri's stories:

Caltech Researchers Find Evidence of a Real Ninth Planet

Globular Clusters Could Nurture Interstellar Civilizations

NASA's Spitzer, Hubble Find "Twins" of Superstar Eta Carinae in Other Galaxies

Hubble Sees the Force Awakening in a Newborn Star


Links to Steve's stories:

Mars Rover Opportunity Busy Through Depth of Winter

Sandy Selfie Sent from NASA Mars Rover

Soyuz lands in Kazakhstan, bringing three station crewmen back to Earth

Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser selected for NASA cargo contract

Falcon 9 booster stage successfully lands in FL

Falcon 9 booster stage "almost lands" on barge in Pacific Ocean

Blue Origin's New Shepard launches/lands for a second time

Families, NASA honor fallen astronauts


To view previous 60 Minutes in Space visit the Space Sciences Newsroom page on Vimeo.

Space News Update

The Space News Update is put together by volunteers and staff in the Space Sciences Newsroom. Twice a week, they review numerous space news websites to bring you the latest stories and information.

Find out what to watch for in the night sky, the best time to see the International Space Station pass overhead, the
Space Image of the Week, and more!


Monthly Sky Calendar

February Sky Calendar (pdf)
Highlights this month's sky phenomena and celestial happenings with local dates and times (Mountain time zone).

Free sky maps are available at produces a nice sky chart to help in locating observable celestial objects. Maps for the month ahead are available only at the end of the current month.


2016 Sky Calendars 2015 Sky Calendars 2014 Sky Calendars

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