Science Station

Scheduled Times on Level 4

Science On A Sphere connects guests of all ages to Earth and space science through a dramatic visual presentation using a six-foot suspended sphere and state-of-the-art projection technology. Explore our planet's dynamic landscape and weather, tour the solar system and understand the complex relationship between our planet and its sister worlds (check the Daily Schedule upon your arrival for available times).


See more videos at the Science On A Sphere YouTube page.

The time has almost come for NASA’s Curiosity rover to land on Mars – hopefully. The 254 day journey from Earth to Mars is expected to end on Monday, August 6 at 1:31 a.m. EST should it survive the risky entry, descent and landing (EDL) typical of this sort of mission.

The difficult landing has NASA calling it “Seven Minutes of Terror” during which time, hundreds of technical events have to work together with split-second timing.

When Curiosity enters the Red Planet’s atmosphere, it will be traveling at 13,200 mph. Seven minutes later, it should be at rest on Mars’ surface. To relate, it’s like driving 65 mph down the highway and coming to a complete, controlled stop in 2.1 seconds. Not an easy feat!

[click the image below to see a larger view]



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Chris Kridler is an award-winning journalist and photographer as well as a 16 year storm chaser, having pursued storms in Tornado Alley and Florida. On Saturday, July 21, she will describe what storm chasing is really like through videos and photos. Utilizing the Science On A Sphere station, she'll also talk about the extremes and dangers of Florida weather.

Chris took some time to speak with us about her storm chasing experience.

How did you become interested in storm chasing?

I’ve always been fascinating by tornados even from a young age. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I remember seeing quite a few tornados and hiding out in the basement. And perhaps seeing The Wizard of Oz one too many times sparked my interest as well.

What’s the most amazing or terrifying weather related experience you’ve had?

On May 12, 2004, I was chasing storms with a group of friends when, about a half mile away, a tornado began tearing the roof off of someone’s home. As a storm chaser, destruction is something you never want to see. Luckily though, the family was safe. That tornado was one of about three we saw that day. Though our close proximity was not intentional, the sight of both the tornados being so close and their destruction was pretty terrifying.

What have you learned the most from chasing storms?

I’ve learned a lot about how the atmosphere works, how tornados form. Every storm is a new lesson for me. It’s also given me the adventure and opportunity of seeing America in my travels.

What excites you the most when chasing?

It’s an incredible visual experience to watch a storm develop into different shapes, sizes and colors. As a photographer, I am always amazed by the different spectrum of light and ever changing forms these buildings in the sky can take.

Do you have any advice for future storm chasers out there?

Absolutely! First of all, it’s not all excitement and tornados all the time. There’s quite a substantial amount of driving around involved and not every day is going to be a rollercoaster of excitement and tornados. Secondly, be safe and learn about the weather and storms. You need to have a good understanding of how these storms work.


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  Orlando Science Center is supported by United Arts of Central Florida, host of and the collaborative Campaign for the Arts.
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