Public Guided Gallery Tours

Join a journey through PARI guided by at PARI scientist!

The Gallery Tour starts with a look at the Electromagnetic Spectrum, where we discuss how light is used to reveal qualities of objects in space. We’ll use examples and hands-on activities of how we collect and use this information to learn about the universe around us.

Next, we’ll visit the Operations Center, where our telescopes, antennas, and earth science instruments are controlled. How they point, move, and what their data looks like will be revealed. Visitors will learn how 3D Printers use data to create tactile models of the terrain of other planets and examine what a crater on the Moon or a volcano on Mars feels like. We’ll also discuss how robots, like rovers and orbiters, help gather the data used to explore the places humans can’t safely go.

In the NASA gallery, visitors will tour a selection of objects from throughout the history of space exploration–including a NASA-built model of the Apollo Lunar lander; the ATS6 satellite, responsible for the first satellite television; and an actual Redstone rocket engine that was one of the first to carry humans to space.

We’ll then move on to our galleries which feature meteorites from all over the world, including some from the Moon and Mars—and one that is thought to be the rarest meteorite in existence. Our impressive collection of gems, fossils and minerals from different parts of North Carolina are also on display, including a 15.3 carat emerald, a sample of radioactive uranium ore, rubies and amethyst, garnets, quartz and mica. You can even touch a dinosaur egg!

To complete the tour, we explore the hidden secrets of fluorescent minerals. These rocks look normal under light from the sun or a bulb, but reveal something entirely different when illuminated with varying frequencies of ultraviolet light.

  • Each guest must buy a ticket for this tour.
  • We recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time online, or you may call to purchase over the phone.
  • Tickets will be sold at the door while supplies last.
  • Tickets are non-refundable.  But if you cannot attend you may send another person in your place.
  • 🕰️Tour lasts approximately 2 hours.
  • You may arrive up to 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour.

A registration fee may apply to this ticket.

Choose a Date below to book your tour. Don’t see any dates available? Sometimes all of our available tours are sold out. New ones are added each season so check back!


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