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/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 (SOS) is able to show, among other features, a 6-foot-diameter Earth, rotating in a darkened room. Visitors can also 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.
SOS is a room-sized global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a spherical screen, 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 SOS as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, ocean temperature and other phenomena can be shown on the sphere. It is used to explain sometimes complex environmental processes, organizers said.
Brian Day will be guest speaker. He’s the LCROSS Education and Public Outreach Lead. He’s also technical lead for the Ames Educational Technology team that produces a wide range of educational products and programs highlighting NASA research. His audiences have included grades K through graduate school.
A long-time astronomy enthusiast, he serves on the board of the Peninsula Astronomical Society and is chairman of the Foothill College Observatory. After witnessing a total eclipse in Baja in 1991, he now travels to remote corners of the world for the chance to stand in the moon’s shadow, organizers said in a news release.
Besides the SOS exhibit, all exhibits will be open to the public, along with short presentations of the Discovery Dome Digital Planetarium Show.
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