Neat display

NOAA had a very cool display at Supercomputing 2010 this year.   I would like to think think Cliff Mass has one of these in his study:

Fig 1:It’s a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system.

A white sphere, suspended in the middle of the booth, is illuminated by a series of (at least four) projectors.  The resulting overlay can be tilted and rotated via a Wii controller.  It’s not technologically bleeding-edge, but it works very well to illustrate worldwide weather phenomena… and all the work NOAA does to gather and process this information.

I wandered up when they were showing the time-lapse of the last 72-hours of weather (just up until this morning), projecting different atmospheric views and tying these into the short-term and ten-day forecasts.  One of the most interesting ones was seeing a recap of ocean levels as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake (responsible for the Indonesian tsunami in 2004) reverberated worldwide.  Whoa.

For the finale, they showed a time lapse of ocean currents.  Play some Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin (IV, Kashmir) in the background, and it’s better than a lava lamp.

Another map overlay

2 Responses

  1. One of these has been on display at the Pacific Science Center for a little while now. I hope it’s still there, it’s very cool. They show Earth, Mars, and perhaps a couple other planets. My kids tend to drag me right past to to other exhibits…

  2. Awwwwwesome! And the iPhone photos came out amazingly good given the lighting conditions. Cool!