Photos
Article

Escaping from the ocean, then surfing on clouds until taking that fateful fall back to Earth, water is on a journey. NASA's new short film "Water Falls" invites the public along for the ride as scientists follow water around the globe — on a globe.

 

Produced specifically for the Science on a Sphere media platform in partnership with the Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, mission, "Water Falls" tells the story of the movement of water throughout the planet on a spherical screen — literally giving a 360-degree view of water. The film introduces viewers to the water cycle. It shows how water in the atmosphere regulates climate, the global and local consequences of too much or too little rain, water's effect on society from food production to urban sustainability, and the role of water in dangerous storms and hurricanes.

 

"Scientists need to know how much it rains and snows globally to better understand a range of applications from natural disasters to crop modeling and weather prediction," said Dalia Kirschbaum, GPM applications scientist and education and public outreach coordinator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

 

The GPM mission is an international satellite mission led by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to measure when, where and how much it rains or snows around the world every three hours. The GPM Core Observatory is set to launch in early 2014.

 

That global perspective is reflected in "Water Falls" as it plays on a globe-like screen. Science on a Sphere technology consists of a 50-pound hollow sphere made from carbon fiber, the same material used to make standard theatrical movie screens. About 6 feet in diameter, the screen hangs at eye level and is suspended from the ceiling by three carbon fiber cables. Four projectors surround the sphere, each covering a 90-degree section of the screen that together display seamless, fully spherical images for depicting animations, visualizations or live-action video.

 

The film is at the intersection of art and science. It combines visualizations of real data, abstract animations to illustrate science concepts, and live action photography — all using the latest techniques for filming on the technically challenging sphere. But Michael Starobin, the film’s producer, is particularly excited about the story line of "Water Falls."

 

"While I spend a lot of my time thinking about the technology, the most important part is always the story," said Starobin, who worked with GPM scientists and education and outreach staff to write the script. "Both the satellite mission and the water cycle that it will study describe intricate webs of moving parts, and the film presents these complex interworkings in artistic and approachable ways."

 

The 9-minute film will premiere at the Space Foundation Discovery Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Oct. 10 and at The W!LD Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y., on Oct. 12. The film will then be released worldwide to the other 100 Science on a Sphere platforms around the world on Oct. 23, when the film will debut at Goddard's Visitor Center. A portion of the film’s spherical animations will also be adapted for a 2-D viewing screen and developed into short videos to further explore some of the science concepts discussed in the film.

 

In addition to the film, "Water Falls" will have accompanying educational notes and playlists for docents. These will include a selection of animations from the film as well as other data visualizations from GPM, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and other NASA satellite missions, which will be made available to all Science on a Sphere venues. Several lesson plans designed for teachers to use before and after viewing the film will also be available, as well as independent lessons and activities for teachers to conduct in their classrooms with accompanying short videos.

 

"'Water Falls' underscores how important it is to have accurate precipitation measurements to understand our planet," said Kirschbaum. "Rain or snow, or both, affect everyone on the planet in some way every day. With a better understanding of the science, the GPM mission can help a lot of people around the world."

 

For behind-the-scenes photos of the "Water Falls" production and accompanying educational materials, visit:

 

http://pmm.nasa.gov/waterfalls

 

External Video
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.

Other Popular Articles
 
Comments
Order by: 
Per page: 
 
  • There are no comments yet
The Social Network Buzz - Comment using your Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo! account
Info
Administrator
The Black Vault Owner/Operator
08.13.2013 (350 days ago)
403 Views
0 Subscribers
All News by Administrator
Share This Article
Rate
0 votes
Related News
NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, will be the most powerful rocket in history.
Main Space
25 days ago · From Administrator
A newly discovered planet in a binary star system located 3,000 light-years from Earth
Main Space
25 days ago · From Administrator
Researchers have discovered a fossilized space rock that stands out against anything seen before.
Main Space
27 days ago · From Administrator
Scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Cassini mission have firm evidence the ocean inside Saturn's largest moon, Titan, might be as salty as the Earth's Dead Sea.
Main Space
27 days ago · From Administrator
Humans doing difficult, repetitive tasks or those who need assistance with movement may soon get a helping hand
Main Space
33 days ago · From Administrator
Taking a 360-degree View of Water