Marvel at the beauty of our blue planet, with an image of the Earth compiled by NASA satellite imagery. Watch real-time clouds move across our planet and spot the moment when a cyclone begins to form. Then blast-off to outer space to visit Mercury, Saturn and beyond.

Science on a Sphere has so much for you to explore!

What is Science on a Sphere?

Science on a Sphere is a huge 1.8m diameter sphere suspended in the centre of SparkLab. It uses the latest digital technology to project global, environmental and planetary data (known as datasets) onto its surface. Similar to a giant animated globe, these datasets include air traffic, real-time clouds, animal migration, Jupiter’s moons and much more. Information for these datasets come from satellites and ground based instruments. 

Developed by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in the United States, this technology helps us to better visualise and understand the wonder of the world around us and Earth’s relationship with our celestial neighbours.

Science on a Sphere is available during SparkLab opening hours.

What data can you explore on Science on a Sphere?

Follow your curiosity with over 570 datasets at your fingertips! From swirling ocean currents and animal migrations, to plate tectonics and real-time Earthquakes! The datasets are grouped into Air, Water, Space, Snow & Ice, Land and People.

How can you explore Science on a Sphere in SparkLab?

You can explore Science on a Sphere in a range of ways:

  • Follow your curiosity with the touchscreen kiosk to investigate our Earth, take a trip to Mars, visit Venus or circle the Sun.
  • Join one of our regular facilitated Science on a Sphere Explorations. Where you can ask questions, share your observations and build on new ideas with our SparkLab Learning Officers.  Science on a Sphere Explorations are at 10:15am, 11:15am, 1:15pm, 2:15pm.
  • Ask a friendly SparkLab Learning Officer to help you access the full range of NOAA datasets with an iPad. Choose a theme, discuss your ideas and share your exploration as you project the datasets directly onto our Sphere.

Create your own Science on a Sphere journey

Plan your very own Science on a Sphere exploration before you visit SparkLab simply by going to the NOAA website. There you will have complete access to all the information that you can explore on Science on a Sphere.

Remember to note down your favourite datasets. Then ask a SparkLab Learning Officer to project them onto the sphere when you next visit us.

Take Science on a Sphere with you

Your journey does not have to end when you leave SparkLab. SOS Explorer Mobile is a mobile app version of Science on a Sphere - now freely available for download.

Explore Earth and space with over 100 incredible datasets from anywhere!