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NASA Visitor Center Premiers NASA Film "Frozen" on Newest Exhibit--Science on a Sphere
3.25.09
 
Science on a Sphere Science on a Sphere is the newest exhibit at the NASA Visitor Center at the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Sphere immerses visitors in the viewing experience of images of the Earth, Moon and other planets.Credit:NASA
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WALLOPS ISLAND, VA -- “Frozen,” a 12-minute movie about Earth’s changing ice and snow cover as captured by NASA spacecraft, premieres March 27 at the NASA Visitor Center at the Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.

The NASA film will be shown on the Visitor Center’s newest exhibit, Science on a Sphere, a fully spherical video technology developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Frozen” will be shown on the hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on March 27.

Throughout April it will be shown at various times during the day as it joins other films being shown on the sphere including “Footprints,” “Return to the Moon,” “Blue Planet” and “Energy Planet.”

“Watching people view the sphere for the first time is fun. They are simply amazed,” said DeAnna Hickman, director of the NASA Visitor Center. “When the Earth, Moon or other planets are projected on the Sphere, they appear to be floating in space,” she said.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., produced “Frozen” for the "Science on a Sphere" projection system. The six-foot spheres are installed in more than 30 locations around the world.

Ice covers about 20 percent of the Earth's surface and plays a major role in the world's climate. NASA operates a sophisticated fleet of spacecraft that make global measurements of ice and snow in remote and treacherous locations not easily accessible to scientists on the ground. Data from these NASA satellites play a critical role in climate change research.

"Frozen" probes the cryosphere, all parts of Earth where water exists in solid form as snow or ice. The movie takes viewers from the everyday experience of sensing heat and cold to a discussion of how satellites "see" heat and cold with advanced sensors. It then projects dramatic displays of satellite data of Earth, including changing Arctic sea ice and global snow cover, onto the sphere. Images generated by NASA's Aqua satellite and the Landsat series are featured in "Frozen."

Science on a Sphere uses a six-foot diameter carbon fiber sphere that hangs in a dark theater surrounded by four projectors. A computer system drives video content for the projectors to create a seamless image around the sphere.

The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Monday. It is located on Virginia Route 175 about six miles from U.S. 13 and five miles from Chincoteague, Va. Admission to Visitor Center programs is free. For further information, including educational group programs, call (757) 824-2298.

For more information about the Visitor Center on the Internet, visit: http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/vc
 
 
Keith Koehler
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility