Posted by: Discovery Science Center Blog | December 17, 2009

NEW permanent exhibit is out of this WORLD!

Dr. MacDonald giving Science On a Sphere® demonstration at US center, COP15 on Tuesday, December 8.

A six-foot in diameter, seamlessly suspended globe is the newest eye-catching, permanent, exhibit to debut at The Taco Bell Discovery Science. “Planetary Research Station” (PRS) is a 3-D globe that puts a world of knowledge at your finger tips. The globe is animated to display dynamic images of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and solar system. PRS features a display developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and is an education and outreach tool used to describe the environmental processes of Earth.

There are few such spheres used in science museums and other academic institutions around the world, and this is the first in Southern California!

“The imagery of the PRS is captivating, and compelling, making scientific learning a visual, hands-on experience for all ages,” says Joe Adams, Discovery Science Center President.

With over five-hundred graphic sets, PRS features everything from real-time infrared satellite over land, to sea ice concentration and snow cover, to the topography of Venus!

PRS includes five instructional plasma displays to further expand on the intuitive and compelling images displayed on the suspended globe. An automated narrated voice will guide Discovery Science Center guests through pre-set data sets, although PRS can be customized to display data sets for research and display purposes. Guests can also choose their own graphic sets to be displayed through a custom-made kiosk.

Partnering with the U.S. State Department and NOAA, the Discovery Science Center recently participated in a Sphere Cast as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen.  The sphere’s inventor, Dr. Alexander “Sandy” MacDonald, director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., presented global data sets and simulations that demonstrate how human activities are rapidly altering the natural atmospheric and oceanic systems.

“In the future we will continue to use Sphere Casting as a way to utilize the full learning potential of the PRS. It’s amazing to be able to participate in an international conference, right here at home. The PRS is beneficial for the scientist and the science enthusiast alike,” Adams explains.

Located at 2500 N. Main St. in Santa Ana, Calif., The PRS at the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. For more information on annual memberships, group rates, special events, teacher workshops, sleepovers and more, call 714-542-CUBE or visit us online:



  1. Open DEC 22…make sure to come out and see us! Happy Holidays!

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