Aerial view of the Hall of Science construction ongoing during season one of the World’s Fair.  More photos here.

Aerial view of the Hall of Science construction ongoing during season one of the World’s Fair.  More photos here.

The 1964-65 World’s Fair opened 50 years ago yesterday.  But the Hall of Science did not.  You can see the Hall still under construction in background left of this photo.  Find out more about why we were delayed here.

The 1964-65 World’s Fair opened 50 years ago yesterday.  But the Hall of Science did not.  You can see the Hall still under construction in background left of this photo.  Find out more about why we were delayed here.

Now, the magnetic fields have once again started moving in opposite directions to begin the completion of the 22 year long process which will culminate in the poles switching once again.

"A reversal of the sun’s magnetic field is, literally, a big event," said Nasa’s Dr. Tony Phillips.

Via: Independent

explainers-nysci:

Every 11 years, our sun reaches a height in its solar cycle. During this solar maximum, the sun’s polarity disappears for a bit, and re-emerges with its poles in the opposite direction. 
Fortunately for us, late 2013 is the expected time for the the sun’s solar maximum. While we may not be able to see this awesome natural occurrence, we do see its effect on earth. 
The change in polarity causes the sun to emit charged particles throughout the galaxy. Some of these particles fall into the Earth’s atmosphere and on impact radiate different gases in the form of light, also known as the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
With the Solar Maximum occurring, this winter’s Northern Lights will be a spectacle everyone needs to keep an eye on!
Sources: NASA SPACE SUN PICTURE

explainers-nysci:

Every 11 years, our sun reaches a height in its solar cycle. During this solar maximum, the sun’s polarity disappears for a bit, and re-emerges with its poles in the opposite direction. 

Fortunately for us, late 2013 is the expected time for the the sun’s solar maximum. While we may not be able to see this awesome natural occurrence, we do see its effect on earth. 

The change in polarity causes the sun to emit charged particles throughout the galaxy. Some of these particles fall into the Earth’s atmosphere and on impact radiate different gases in the form of light, also known as the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

With the Solar Maximum occurring, this winter’s Northern Lights will be a spectacle everyone needs to keep an eye on!

Sources: NASA SPACE SUN PICTURE

Roving for Science

image

Last Tuesday, Mars rover Curiosity completed its first autonomous mission, a major milestone for the rover, which has been on Mars for over a year. Back here on Earth, we had our own rover-related milestone: a new rover for the Search for Life Beyond Earth exhibition.

Rover Camille is a robotic replica of a Mars rover that helps our visitors learn about the Red Planet. Named after Camille Beatty, one of the rover’s creators, the robot is made from 750 parts, many of which were built from scratch. But perhaps the most extraordinary part of this story is the creators themselves; two young girls from North Carolina built the rover with their father in their garage.

Camille, age 13, and sister Genevieve, age 11, worked together on soldering, machining, designing and assembling the rover. Just last month, the rover was unveiled to an appreciative crowd at NYSCI.

The two girls are currently working on a second rover for NYSCI, to be named Genevieve. As for rover Camille – will she be given a chance to roam free like Curiosity? Not likely. But word on the street is she’s been eyeing the two rockets located just outside her exhibit.

A clear view of the space shuttle Enterprise caught flying by Worlds Fair Marina this morning by our staff. Photos: Lana Medvedeva.

UPDATE 03/08/12
The leading edge of the March 6 coronal mass ejection (CME), reached NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) satellite at 5:42 AM ET. ACE sits just outside of Earth’s magnetic environment, the magnetosphere. As magnetic fields from the CMEs connected up to the magnetosphere, instruments on Earth began to measure changes in our planet’s magnetic fields – indicating the onset of a geomagnetic storm. At the time of writing this was still a minor storm, rated a G1 on a scale of G1 to G5. There will be updates as needed if the rating increases.

theworks-nysci:

1964 in NYSCI’s Great Hall, nearly 50 years ago…Frank Capra’s last movie, Rendezvous in Space is a 20 minute long quasi-documentary with Danny Thomas trying to explain what will happen in the Space Station that will eventually orbit the Earth (a question that still lingers with the International Space Station).  At one point in the movie  —which I have put on youtube, its a lousy print, but you can get the idea, —the footage cuts to the images that John Glenn took from his first Friendship 7 orbits of the Earth.

 It is the first time most people every saw the Earth from outside the Earth.  I remember it vaguely, but the rush of images, culminating in the image of the Earth from the moon and beyond, have diminished the shock.  We are on one planet, not on separate continents.  Political lines do not show up on the actual globe (I actually remember being kind of surprised, since the only globe I had at home was a political map).  The ocean, the clouds, the atmosphere are vast and transnational.  

For the new exhibition we are planning in NYSCI’s Great Hall, we are inspired by this sense of connectedness to consider the global systems that shape the future of the planet. Not just the natural systems, but the social, economic, transportation, and electronic networks that are deeply influential in peoples’ lives.  The immediate impacts of these human global systems shape our lives more directly than the longer range impacts of changing natural systems.

Steve Uzzo, a network science PhD and polymath leading the Great Hall Project insists that climate change is a symptom of a world out of balance, and that making communities healthier and more sustainable (in a human sense…better education, health care, transportation, economic opportunity) is the best way to address climate change.

There is a wonderful set of TED talks by Hans Rosling that use clever visualization to show how data reveals transnational social change.  Check it out.  It is an image of a globally interconnected world that is more abstract than John Glenn’s orbital pictures of the earth, but equally compelling in showing how connected we are.

(Source: theworks-nysci)

Cows on Mars? Not!


Though scientists have found methane on Mars, a gas produced by living things on Earth, the source remains ambiguous. Cows, termites? Not likely. Chemicals? Perhaps. Microbes? Perhaps if life on Earth is a model.
Explore The Search for Life Beyond Earth at NYSCI to understand why life on Mars may be possible. With NASA sending a new rover to Mars to explore the planet, now is the perfect time to learn about life in extreme environments.

New York Times: On Mars Rover, Tools to Plumb a Methane Mystery