The goal of Eyes on Earth is to show the holistic exploration of Earth being conducted from the vantage point of space, and how the information gleaned from NASA missions helps us to learn more about how natural processes affect us, and how we might be affecting them
Dallas, TX (PRWEB) May 21, 2008
Far beyond the atmosphere of Earth, at orbits ranging from 180 miles to over 22,000 miles above sea level, circle the satellites of the Earth Observing System (EOS), NASA's primary satellite mission. A new exhibition at the Museum of Nature & Science (MNS) in Fair Park reveals the science behind what these missions tell us about the Earth when it opens Eyes on Earth May 24.
"In addition to Eyes on Earth, families and children's groups will discover a full summer of educational space-themed fun at MNS," said Nicole Small, CEO of MNS.
The excitement launches on opening weekend with a free after-hours watch-party and dazzling presentation by Solar System Ambassador Max Corneau celebrating the Phoenix spacecraft landing on Mars this Sunday. On June 28, junior "space-preneurs" can attend an exciting presentation on the commercialization of space by Space Ambassador - and the world's first female space tourist - Anousheh Ansari.
Disney's Wall-E robot will stop by June 11 to talk about how robots help us explore space. A Girl and Boy Scouts merit badge day will be held in July, plus throughout the summer MNS will offer space-themed sleepovers and birthday parties for budding astronauts and aerospace engineers.
MNS is organizing a career day late this summer for young people to explore how their interest in space could lead to an exciting and rewarding future.
As a special promotion during the opening weekend, MNS is offering a 15 percent discount and four free tickets to the IMAX® "Roving Mars" (or any other IMAX® show) for every new membership.
About Eyes on Earth
Developed by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), funded by NASA and sponsored locally by Lockheed Martin and The University of Texas at Dallas, Eyes on Earth is a new, highly interactive exhibition that helps children understand satellites, how satellite observations are made and what NASA and other scientists learn using this space technology.
"The goal of Eyes on Earth is to show the holistic exploration of Earth being conducted from the vantage point of space, and how the information gleaned from NASA missions helps us to learn more about how natural processes affect us, and how we might be affecting them," said OMSI Vice President of Exhibits Ray Vandiver.
NASA's Earth Observing System is comprised of a small but powerfully revealing group of man-made scientific observers that are constantly scanning our planet. EOS instruments track weather, monitor pollution, create maps and gather information that helps scientists predict storms, monitor forest fires and study holes in the ozone layer.
In a series of hands-on stations, Eyes on Earth explores the basics of satellites, orbits, and some of the details of satellite technology. As they explore the exhibition, visitors can collect crayon rubbings of images representing each of the EOS missions highlighted in Eyes on Earth.
The Design a Satellite station provides an introduction to the basics of what makes up a satellite, the different types of satellites orbiting Earth, the components of a satellite and their functions. With this information, visitors can then build their own working satellite and customize it to perform tasks of their choice. At a video station called Mission Kiosk, visitors get a look at the various EOS missions currently studying the ozone layer, weather, urban growth and environmental change.
To explain orbits, Eyes on Earth features an Orbit Table, where marble "satellites" are launched into "space." Visitors choose launchers with different trajectories to observe circular and elliptical orbits. At What Goes Around/Near Satellite, visitors can send a satellite spinning around a phosphorescent painted Earth. As it orbits, the surface of the globe lights up, leaving a glowing trail that mirrors its path, allowing visitors to track the path and watch how the combination of Earth's rotation and the satellite's orbit enables scientists to observe and scan the planet's entire surface in just one day.
At What Goes Around/Be a Far Satellite, visitors discover the science behind a geosynchronous orbit, in which a satellite circles the Earth directly above the equator once a day at an altitude of 22,236 miles. Geosynchronous orbits match the spin rate of Earth. From this high vantage point, nearly one-third of the Earth can be viewed, making this type of orbit popular for communications relay and weather monitoring satellites.
Cutting-edge technology used by EOS satellites is explained in a collection of stations. These include the TOPEX/Jason-1 Radar Altimeter station, where visitors discover how scientists gather data to map oceans and ocean temperatures, which helps them to understand how oceans affect the weather. The ozone layer, its importance to Earth, how scientists measure it, and why it is important to do so is all explained in Ozone Zone. At Earth Today, NASA software connects visitors directly to the Internet, where they can monitor current EOS missions.
The technical details of how images are created from satellite data are explained at a series of stations. The Bigger the Better explains how lens size and aperture create detail and clarity in a satellite image. A hands-on pin board can be used to explore resolution at Pixel Story. Finally, at Image Gallery, visitors can compare the different types of images created by information obtained from NASA's EOS missions by viewing stunning photographs and data renderings of Earth.
Eyes on Earth runs through Sept. 1. Admission is free for members. Non-members: adults $8.75; children 3 to 11 $5.50; youth 12 to 18, students over 18 and seniors 62 and older with ID $7.75.
For a complete explanation of components and their functions, see the attached exhibit list. Media can find additional images and materials at our online press room: https://promotesuccesspr.sharedwork.com/sr/0TR2QkV5Q3d0ETZK1DcmMXZ5VWP1ZCN3czMx0Ta
About the Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum of Nature & Science - the result of a unique merger in 2006 between the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum - is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas' Fair Park. In support of its mission to inspire minds through nature and science, the museum delivers exciting, engaging and innovative visitor experiences through its education, exhibition, and research and collections programming for children, students, teachers, families and life-long learners. The facility also includes the TI Founders IMAX® Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. The Museum of Nature & Science is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts and EDS. To learn more about the Museum of Nature & Science, please visit http://www.natureandscience.org.