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Science Encounters

The Science Center offers a variety of Science Encounters to experience while visiting–witness live hair raising science experiments on the Demo Stage, view Global changes on a 3-dimensional sphere at Science On a Sphere, encounter the night sky in all its glory on our rooftop Observatory, and keep up to date on what to look for in our night sky with SciCasts.

Weather Prediction Models

Used by the National Weather Service for global weather forecasting, the data originates with geostationary weather satellites from around the world and is filled in with data from polar-orbiting satellites.

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3D Surface of Earth and Nighttime Lights

See the earth’s rotation showing transitions from day to night and back. Highlights include the mid-Atlantic ridge in the middle of the Atlantic, the Himalayas in the Tibetan plateau, the Mariana Trench east of Japan and more.

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Percipitable Water Stimulation

Follow tropical disturbances moving from east-to-west and the formation of occasional tropical storms. Locate the Intertropical Convergence Zone—a band of rich moisture that circles the Earth near the equator, where the trade winds of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres come together.

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Moon and Mars

Compiled from NASA exploration missions. See the other side of the Moon that we can’t see from Earth. On Mars, see Olympus Mons—the largest volcano in our solar system—16 miles high, plus Mariner Valley—a canyon 2500 miles long and 4 miles deep.

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Historical Terrestrial Air Temperatures

See how the northern and southern hemisphere simultaneously experience opposite seasons due to the 23 degree tilt of the earth’s rotational axis.

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Historical Sea Surface Temperatures

Follow the annual cycle of sea surface temperatures across all oceans through the seasons. El Nino and La Nina events can be clearly observed.

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Near Real-Time Global Infrared Satellite Data

See global weather patterns in near real time. Learn how temperatures of clouds and lands, different circulation patterns in the northern and southern hemispheres, and the warming and cooling of continents effects weather around the world.

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Temperature Response to Increased Atmospheric CO2

Follow the changes in surface air temperature that result from increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. See how warming is more rapid over the continental regions than over oceanic regions, and is larger in polar regions than at lower latitudes.

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A 16-minute film where viewers can experience how hurricanes form, how satellites collect data from outer space, and the changes in ocean temperature. It’s like sitting on a spaceship and watching the changes happening on Earth or on other planets right underneath you!

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