NASA legend who found dino-killing asteroid crater coming to MOSI

Dr. Adriana Ocampo takes you back 66 million years to the end of the dinosaurs and explains how she discovered the crater from the impact that likely caused the catastrophe.

Dr. Adriana Ocampo

Tampa, Florida:  With amazing asteroid impact images from NASA, tales of adventure and discovery in the jungle, and a five-story-tall IMAX movie that brings dinosaurs to life, get ready to be transported to one of earth’s most terrifying moments during Cosmic Collisions and Dinosaurs, Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at MOSI.

During this interactive presentation, guests will meet and hear stories from NASA legend Adriana Ocampo, Ph.D. – Dr. Ocampo is a planetary geologist, space program manager, and MOSI’s 2016 National Hispanic Scientist of the Year.

Dr. Ocampo led the team that used satellite images to discover the Chicxulub Crater, an ancient 110-mile-wide impact crater buried beneath Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Most scientists agree the crater was left behind when a rock from space the size of a small city crashed into the earth 66 million years ago. An environmental disaster followed, and the 180-million-year reign of the dinosaurs came to an end.

“When I first saw that semicircle… immediately, a spark went off inside of me. ‘Oh my God! Could this be an impact crater? Could this be?’” Dr. Ocampo said, remembering the moment she first spotted the evidence of the crater. (Video soundbite available here)

Since then, on six field expeditions to Mexico, Dr. Ocampo has dug and drilled for samples to confirm the age and importance of the crater.

“At the very beginning, I didn’t have any idea that this could be the [extinction] impact. But then, as we looked into those questions – that’s the extraordinary thing – all the pieces started falling into place. That’s how discoveries happen. That’s the fascinating thing about the scientific process.”

Her work also includes groundbreaking discoveries in space. Dr. Ocampo is NASA’s lead scientist for the planet Venus. She also serves as a leader on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, Juno mission to Jupiter, and OSIRIS-REx mission to return a sample from an asteroid to earth.

After her talk, guests will be thrilled by the IMAX® film Dinosaurs Alive! on the 10,500 square foot screen of the Florida Hospital IMAX® DOME Theatre.

“If you’re someone who loves exploration and discovery, we’re always bringing new experiences to MOSI for you. This is an opportunity to meet a true NASA legend, and you’ll be kicking yourself for the next 66 million years if you miss this!” MOSI President & CEO Molly Demeulenaere said.

Limited tickets are still available for Dr. Ocampo’s talk, Cosmic Collisions and Dinosaurs, on Sunday, October 23 from 12:30-3:00 p.m. at Tampa’s Museum of Science & Industry. The $15 ticket ($10 for MOSI Members) also includes the IMAX® film Dinosaurs Alive! To reserve your seat, visit

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