Earth and Space

Science On a Sphere (SOS)®

Get an astronaut's-eye-view of Earth's surface as it changes minute to minute, by the hour, through the seasons, and over the years without leaving the ground!

Science on a Sphere


Science On a Sphere® creates stunning visual animations from real planetary data, and displays them dynamically on a six-foot-diameter globe. This unique and captivating educational tool projects global data for Earth and other celestial bodies like Jupiter and the Moon. Suspended from the ceiling, the animated sphere seems to float in space—the way planets look to astronauts in space.

In Science On a Sphere you can view:

  • Expanding wave patterns of a devastating tsunami
  • Surface features of Mars
  • Massive storms forming and moving over Earth's oceans and landmasses
  • Night lights around the globe that reveal our planet's most densely populated areas
  • And much more

SOS models

The variety of available datasets about the land, ocean, atmosphere, and more help visitors of all ages understand complex environmental processes. These include climate change, plate tectonics, and natural hazards, all of which can affect everyone.

Children at SOS









Science On a Sphere was developed by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Explore Science On a Sphere at the Hall, and visit for more information.