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Smithsonian's "Earth From Space" Exhibit Family Day
Each day, high above the clouds, dozens of sophisticated imaging satellites circle the Earth. These high-tech machines are capable of capturing extraordinary conditions and events that are nearly impossible to document from the surface of the planet. These remarkable images, which reveal the awesome beauty of the planet’s surface through the “eyes” of a space satellite, have been on display in Folsom Library as part of a new Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition.

Featuring 40 beautifully detailed satellite images of the Earth, the exhibit illustrates how satellite imagery is gathered and used to expand mankind’s understanding of life on Earth. It also explores the remote sensing technology used to gather the images and discusses the individual satellites whose images are on display. More than 100 children and adults had an opportunity to explore the interactive “Earth from Space” exhibit as part of a special family day event held at Folsom Library Jan. 19.

“We wanted to share this exhibit with the community and provide a learning and memorable experience for families,” said Amy Rupert, assistant institute archivist. “It was wonderful to see the interaction between children and their parents and grandparents as they went through the exhibit. The exhibit really appealed to all ages and provided an ideal opportunity for many to view and explain the science behind the images.”

In addition, visitors had a chance to hear from WNYT News Channel 13 meteorologist Jason Gough, who discussed how he uses satellite technology to forecast the weather. The exhibit also featured a Magic Planet digital video globe — a digital display with a sphere-shaped screen. The animations on this tool allowed visitors to observe the global extent of images returned from orbiting satellites. The exhibit was developed by the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Andrew Johnston, a geographer at the National Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies and author of the book Earth from Space (Firefly Books, 2004), is the exhibition’s curator.

The exhibition is made possible by Global Imagination, whose founder and CEO is Michael Foody ’80. Additional support is provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 2, January 31, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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