Programs & Services

Explore the Wonderful World of Opals During $5 First Friday

April 14th, 2017

Explore the Wonderful World of Opals During $5 First Friday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2017 (Albuquerque, NM)Explore the Wonderful World of Opals and other geological wonders at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) May 5th for a family-friendly First Friday evening at the museum. Offered four times per year, on the first Friday of select months, the entire museum opens in the evening at a reduced admission fee, focusing on one current scientific topic or activity with plenty of hands-on activities for families. Admission is $5 per person. Events take place at the Museum from 5:30pm-9:00pm

Opal is a mineraloid with a non-crystalline nature and one of the world’s most unique gemstones with a dazzling glow. Opal can feature a full rainbow spectrum of colors, often in the same stone, diffracting light, which highlights multiple colors often with a milky white to bluish black base color. More than 90 percent of Opal comes from Australia.

“Anyone who has ever admired an opal ring, necklace or earring will be fascinated by this spectacular collection of opals,” said Margie Marino, director of the NMMNHS. “This exhibition contains some of the world’s finest and most varied opal specimens ever gathered in one collection.”

During this first Friday, tours of the "Wonderful World of Opals" exhibit will be conducted by geologist Jayne Aubele at 6:15 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. The Albuquerque Gem and Mineral Society will have demonstrations and displays in the Museum Atrium. The onsite Lapidary Studio will be open to view by visitors.

New Mexico is home to some of the most spectacular geological wonders in the world. Find out how they were formed during discussions lead by geology experts from NM Tech Earth and Environmental Science Department and UNM Earth and Planetary Science Department; and, the UNM Institute for Meteoritics will discuss how to identify meteorites. Planetary Geologist Larry Crumpler will discuss volcanos in NM and on Mars, and Paleontologist Gary Morgan will discuss early mammals of New Mexico.



  • First Friday Fractals in the Planetarium at 6, 7, 8 & 9 p.m. (visit fractalfoundation.org for tickets and more information)

  • Star Wars: Rogue One in DynaTheater at 6:30 p.m. $10 Adults; $8 Seniors; $6 Children; $5 snack special

  • Observatory open 8 – 10 p.m. (weather permitting)

  • Naturalist Center and Nature Works store open 5:30 – 8 p.m.

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