ESRL Global Systems Division

Science On a Sphere® Touring in France

From October 22 through November 9, NOAA's Science On a Sphere (SOS)® will be featured at a major European Parliament event in France called "Strasbourg in Space." Recently NOAA/ESRL/GSD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French Space Agency, to install SOS in Strasbourg for this high level gathering of European Union (EU) elected representatives, members of the space community, artists, and the public. France currently holds the six-month rotational Presidency of the EU and as such wishes to highlight several important global issues during this late fall event. SOS will act as a centerpiece that vividly shows participants how global environmental events can affect their lives.

The CNES intends to tour SOS for several months to various locations throughout France after "Strasbourg in Space." Several of the current audio tracks that accompany SOS's key data sets will be translated into French for the tours. After the tour period, the sphere will find a permanent home in France at a location to be determined. In addition, the large SOS exhibit structure will be featured at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. for a gala event celebrating the end of France's EU Presidency term.

This collaboration has brought about another cooperative effort by NOAA, NASA, and CNES. The parties are looking to establish a long-term partnership to discuss and exchange science and research being done at their respective locations to address global environmental concerns.

This unique visualization technology (SOS) invented by Dr. Sandy MacDonald, Director of the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, CO, is growing in popularity to include global distribution. The new MOU between NOAA and CNES represents just one of the over half dozen other international installations of SOS planned for Europe, Asia, and possibly Australia.

SOS enhances environmental literacy and improves understanding, value, and use of weather and water information and services with its unique visualization of complex data. Additionally, this international exchange demonstrates how NOAA can play a leadership role with our global partners in understanding and managing our fragile Earth system.

Contact information
Name: William Bendel
Tel: 303-497-6708
William.B.Bendel@noaa.gov