Kolkata: Visitors to the Science City here can now see real time images of the earth’s atmosphere and those of the sun, moon and other planets on a spherical ball which collects data from NASA and other satellites.
Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in USA, ‘Science on a Sphere’ is a large visualisation system that uses computers and video projectors to display animated data onto the outside of a sphere.
Of six feet diameter, the globe shows dynamic, animated images of the atmosphere, oceans, and land of a planet. To be inaugurated this Friday, the state-of-the-art facility is an educational tool for all age groups, Science City director Arijit Dutta Choudhury said.
Through special software and four projectors, the sphere provides dramatic, full-motion views of the earth, sun, moons and planets in space using more than 500 real time data sets.
Using the sphere one can see how the cloud cover over the city and the rest of India is changing over a given a period of time. “You can also see how the night sky looks like from space. Or how the earth looks like at night when viewed from space,” he said.
Other interesting images include movement of aircraft all over the world, vegetation across different geographies and how the earth how would look like if the water from all oceans is removed. They also have data and images on cyclones, hurricanes and storms.
Each show of 30 minutes, which can accommodate around 70 people, will have something new to offer for science enthusiasts. “It helps in understanding the complex environmental processes through animated images. The data is divided into seven categories – Land, Water, Air, Space, Snow & Ice, People and Extras,” officials said. The tool is used in science museums and educational centers around the world.