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Cultural Pathways in Prevention Project

About Science on a Sphere

James Madison is the first university to acquire Science on a Sphere (SOS)—a sphere-shaped, visualization tool that was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  To date, SOS has primarily been installed in museums.  This tool is currently being piloted by a variety of trained JMU faculty and staff who utilize SOS for research, education, and outreach. 

The sphere is installed in a renovated theater in Memorial Hall’s former auxiliary gym.  SOS uses four projectors to project onto the surface of a six-foot diameter sphere.  Click to see how SOS works http://learners.gsfc.nasa.gov/mediaviewer/SOS/
Many of the current images for SOS use processed satellite data.   The observer has the illusion of seeing Earth from an astronaut’s perspective in space.  The conventional objective of SOS is an educational tool to expose the audience to issues and fundamentals of science.  Accordingly, SOS comes with dozens of “movies” and images depicting environmental processes of Earth, such as global climate effects and changes in land formations.