Step up to a world of planetary data. Science on a Sphere® is a giant suspended globe that stretches six feet in diameter. Learn about climate change, atmospheric storms, environmental processes, and ocean temperatures on an animated display.
Out of this World
Understanding Newton’s theories doesn’t have to be a heavy lesson. Marvel at how motion and gravity influence many of the innovations we enjoy today. Test how force affects acceleration at Newton’s Race Track. Get a front row seat for a lesson in angular motion in our gyrochair.
A lot has been discovered about Neptune since its initial sighting in 1846. The Voyager 2 spacecraft, on Aug 25, 1989, did a fly by of this blue celestial giant and sent back some photos and other data that has helped the science community understand more about the last planet on the block. Here are some interesting factoids about Neptune:
Space, the final frontier...
Today at 4:50 pm, space shuttle Discovery will blast off on its final mission into space. On board Discovery are six astronauts, the Permanent Multipurpose Module which will become sort of a storage closet for the space station, and Robonaut 2, the first dextrous humanoid robot to go into space. Robonaut 2 will test his ability to operate in zero gravity and will eventually become an astronaut's helper.
Besides highly publicized science stories of 2010 (Gulf oil spill, Chilean miner rescue, bedbugs, etc.), there were some intriguing and somewhat odd science stories:
1. You think like a worm – The human brain’s center of deep thought is curiously similar to a clump of neurons inside the head of the lowly ragworm. So similar, in fact, that ragworms, which evolved 600 million years ago, probably share a common ancestor with us humans. Hmmm…
Tuesday, December 21, is the Winter Solstice and usually considered the first day of winter. However, meteorological winter is already here! So what’s the deal? Well, the definition of winter depends on whom you ask.
Want to wish upon a falling star? This is the week - the Leonid Meteor Shower peaks tomorrow. Earth is currently passing through the “tail” of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Often called a “dirty snowball,” a comet usually orbits the sun in an elliptical orbit. The comet’s nucleus, consisting mostly of ice and dust, heats as it approaches the sun. Particles begin to stream out behind it and form the comet’s “tail.” As Earth passes through this “tail” the particles collide with the atmosphere and we see a meteor shower.
Thirty-eight years ago I stood with my younger brother on a shoreline near midnight looking eastward across 12 miles of quiet, dark water at the brilliant jewel on the far horizon. A million people lined the beaches as far as we could see. In the distance xenon arc lights crossed upon the largest craft ever to carry humans. The thunderstorm that had earlier sent tendrils of blue and orange lightning beyond the gantry had since moved far out to sea.