What’s on at the American Museum of Natural History

This month, AMNH explains cosmic expansion, investigates murder mysteries, and hosts a knight and some DJs.

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Dark Universe

Dark Universe Photograph: Courtesy AMNH/Denis Finnin

Dark Universe

  • Critics choice

The Hayden Planetarium’s new space show is narrated by Earth’s favorite celeb astrophysicist—and the Hayden's director—Neil deGrasse Tyson. Using scientific data, it maps out the matter and dark matter that make up our cosmos, but the biggest thrill is seeing the visualization of an unobservable force that’s all around us: dark energy. Trippy, but also enlightening in every sense of the word.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Now playing
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“Alfred Russel Wallace and the Birds of Paradise” with Sir David Attenborough

  • Critics choice

Who is Alfred Russel Wallace? Just the guy who originated evolutionary theory around the time Charles Darwin was thinking about natural selection. The 19th-century naturalist may not have his pal’s renown, but to bird lovers, Wallace is a god among scientists, thanks to his 1869 tome, The Malay Archipelago, which documented his study of Indonesian birds of paradise. Sir David Attenborough, the voice and spirit behind BBC’s Life nature series, talks Wallace and beatific plumage, and signs copies of his new book, Drawn from Paradise, which he co-authored with artist Errol Fuller. 7:30pm; $12–$15

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Tue Nov 12
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"The Power of Poison"

  • Critics choice

Alas, AMNH isn’t hosting a seminar on Bret Michaels’s varied career. But anyone hooked on grisly forensic documentaries should see this exhibit's gallery detailing famous, suspect deaths like Cleopatra’s (supposedly by snake venom) and Napoleon’s (supposedly by arsenic); an interactive game in which visitors can solve enigmatic cases on museum iPads; massive dioramas of Macbeth’s witches and other fictional accounts of poison-related treachery; and live examples of toxic creatures such as the golden poison frog. Warning: You may never think of common household spices—many of which could be lethal in too huge a helping—the same way again. Daily 10am–5:45pm.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St, 10024
  2. Sat Nov 16 - Sun Aug 10
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One Step Beyond: Body & SOUL

  • Critics choice

If any DJ collective has carried on the ethos of one nation under a singular groove, it might be New York dance-floor legends Francois K, Danny Krivit and Joaquin Claussell. The trio has been a fixture of NYC’s club scene since the 1970s and has helmed its signature night of electronic bliss since 1996. The party is now global, but B&S returns home to kick-start the One Step Beyond season with a night of rhythm and bass at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. 9pm–1am; $30, advance $25

  1. Rose Center for Earth and Space (at the American Museum of Natural History) 5 W 81st St, between Central Park West and Columbus Ave
  2. Fri Nov 22 - Sat Nov 23
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