ATWATER — The Atwater Children's Museum said it will open a new permanent exhibit Jan. 23 at the Castle Science and Technology Center.
The exhibit will be unveiled at an open house and star party free to the public. Two similar events last year each attracted more than 600 visitors for a night at the museum, organizers said.
The Science on a Sphere, or SOS, is able to show, among other features, a 6-foot-diameter Earth, rotating in a darkened room.
Visitors also can see the planet Mars or an animation of satellite images of the hurricanes of 2005 as they developed near the coast of Africa and moved across the Atlantic toward North America.
The SOS is a room-sized global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a spherical screen, or a giant animated globe, said Tom Tamioka, education director of the Challenger Learning Center of the San Joaquin Valley.
Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration developed the SOS as an educational tool to help illustrate earth sciences to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, ocean temperature and other phenomena can be shown on the sphere. It also is used to explain complex environmental processes, organizers said.
Brian Day will be the guest speaker at the upcoming event. He's a technical leader for the Ames Educational Technology team that produces a wide range of educational products and programs highlighting NASA research.
For more information, contact 726-0296, 726-3491 (fax) or firstname.lastname@example.org.