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As a special event in conjunction with the 2009 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, we connected a live audience at the Exploratorium with scientists at the South Pole. Learn about atmospheric research at the South Pole from NOAA's Nick Morgan, the IceCube neutrino detector from Mark Krasberg and Laura Gladstone, and the South Pole Telescope from Bill Holzapfel. It can be hard to make ideas about size and scale relevant to students’ lives. Children’s book author David Schwartz explains a series of neat real-world comparisons from his book that really get the concepts across.
Join exhibit developer Charles Sowers as he demonstrates Watch Water Freeze, an exhibit designed to encourage noticing. Patience with this piece is rewarded with breathtaking patterns of ice crystals. Viewed through a polarizing filter, the beautiful colors and crystalline structures of Watch Water Freeze have inspired countless museum visitors to reach for their cameras. Which is farthest away from the earth, the stars or Pluto? The answer may be obvious to you, but a lot of people get this wrong. Listen to TI director Linda Shore as she presents a little survey about how things are arranged in the heavens—and explains what the surprising results mean. See slow-motion footage of flames licking through ice during a demonstration by Eric Muller of the Exploratorium's Teacher Institute. Can you guess what he added to the bottom of the vessel before lighting it?
Slow motion footage of The Cauldron by Kiki at the Fire and Ice After Dark event. Slow motion footage of Pyrograph, a work by Earl "Dodger" Stirling that has been described as a cross between Dante's Inferno and the Foucault Pendulum. Like a fiery version of the Exploratorium's classic Drawing Board exhibit, Pyrograph swings a pendulum across a sandy, flaming cauldron and traces out oscillating patterns in colorful fire.
Most things won't burn on Mars—after all, the main ingredient in the Martian atmosphere, carbon dioxide, is used in fire extinguishers on earth. So how would one create fire without oxygen? Use metal!This slow motion footage shows magnesium burning within a block of dry ice.
Exploratorium staff physicist Thomas Humphrey divulges a clever way to measure the speed of sound, and he explains how he’s used that information to measure things in the world. Join A, K. C. Cole, author of Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens: Frank Oppenheimer and the World He Made Up, in conversation with Exploratorium Director Dr. Dennis Bartels, eminent San Francisco Chronicle science writer David Perlman, Cinema Arts Director Liz Keim, and Exploratorium physicist Thomas Humphrey. A question-and-answer session followed the panel discussion.