What Is it? - The Space Weather Exhibit, one of the only
museum exhibits in the world solely on Space Weather! And it's
Where Is It? - Only at Spark!
Imagination and Science Center (formerly called the Children's
Discovery Museum of West Virginia)
What Is In The Exhibit? - See a picture of the exhibit below;
descriptions of the hands-on activities follow:
The Activites -
- A large Plasma Ball - learn about the super-hot fourth
state of matter that makes up most of the sun, the stars, and space.
Make it move with your hands!
- Play with Horseshoe Magnets - feel the magnetic force.
This same force is a crucial aspect of space weather!
- Visualize Magnetic Fields - see what magnetic field lines
look like in 3D! Earth's magnetic field looks similar!
- See a Lifesize Replica of a NASA Satellite - a model of a
satellite in NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. It's
complete with many of the instruments on the real satellite. This
completely unique piece was made by a school group from Paw Paw, WV,
and was brought to Florida for the launch of the satellites in
- Experience Virtual Reality - put on goggles and feel like
you're standing in space! You will see the MMS satellite and hear
about the mission. The MMS satellites were designed to study magnetic
reconnection, a key aspect of space weather!
- Take the Astronaut Challenge! - dress up as a NASA
astronaut and pretend you are assembling parts on the International
Space Station! Also, feel how heavy a jar would weigh on other
planets in our solar system. Astronauts have to be wary of space
weather, as they can get harmed by the powerful radiation from solar
- Watch Aurora in a Bottle - learn what causes the northern
and southern lights, also known as aurora, by making aurora in a
bottle! This device, called a terrella, was designed and created at
the Exploratorium in San Francisco and lets you shoot electrons at a
magnet to see how aurora happens. Aurora naturally occurs during
space weather events.
- Learn about Space Weather - panels describe what space
weather is and how everyone is affected by it. You will also learn
about space weather research being done in West Virginia!
The exhibit was funded by generous support from West Virginia
University (WVU), the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy, the
National Science Foundation (NSF Grants AGS-0953463 and AGS-1460037),
and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA Grants
NNX16AF60G and NNX16AL15G), and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
It was created as a partnership between Spark! Imagination and Science
Center (formerly the Children's Discovery Museum of West Virginia),
the Department of Physics and Astronomy at WVU, and the Department of
Curriculum and Instruction/Literacy Studies at WVU.
This page last updated on December 31, 2016.