Just in time for firefly season, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will unveil a new exhibit this month that will give you the answer when your kids ask how fireflies make their tiny lights.
GLOW: Living Lights explores an organism's ability to produce its own light, a phenomenon called bioluminescence. The exhibit opens June 19 and runs through Sept. 12, the weekend of the museum's very popular BugFest (where the focus will be on aquatic bugs).
The exhibit will tell of the chemical process that produces "cool" light and explores the world of light-producing creatures such as fireflies, glow worms and foxfire fungus before going deep into the ocean where an estimated 90 percent of animals produce light.
It also delves into how scientists are studying bioluminescence and describes the benefits of the research.
The exhibit will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the museum in downtown Raleigh. Last tickets will be sold at 4 p.m. daily.
Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors; $4 for kids ages 5 to 11. Kids 4 and under are free.
As part of the exhibit, the museum is holding an illustration contest. Kids are invited to illustrate their best and most realistic version of a bioluminescent or aquatic bug in its natural surroundings. All entrants will receive one free children's admission to GLOW. Illustrations are accepted now through Aug. 15. Winning entries will be displayed at BugFest.
Stop by the Museum Store for more details on the contest or click here for more information about the contest.