"While exploring the area off of Haiti, Navassa Island has proved to hold a wide range of interesting sea life. From sea cucumbers and sponges, to multicolored fish, the waters here are teeming with life. The ROVs have been busy collecting rock, coral, water, and push core samples, and even though this journey may be focused on geology, the biology never ceases to fascinate the scientist. Here are some of the creatures we have seen in the last few dives of the Windward Passage leg of the expedition."
Ever notice a brick-lined circle embedded into a street intersection? Keep an eye out and you’ll see them throughout San Francisco. As part of the San Francisco Fire Department’s Auxiliary Water Supply System, these brick circles indicate a cistern full of water.
Throwback Thursday! Exploratorium billboards Watch the Wind Work and Piece the World Together are part advertising, part art.
The former, Watch the Wind is by Exploratorium artist Ned Kahn. It was located at the East Bay Terminal (currently under construction) on Fremont and Howard Street and recorded the fluid motion of the wind in a surface of shimmering, wind-sensitive reflective discs.
Piece the World Together. At the Exploratorium (also called Jigsaw City) was by Exploratorium artist Tom Humphrey. Located on Mission Street and 8th Street. It created a jigsaw image of downtown San Francisco using large mirrored puzzle pieces. Some pieces were piled randomly making a mosaic of disconnected reflected images, while others combined into a continuous mirror of sky and city.
Hard day back after the long weekend? This slow moving Bay creature feels you! We caught this clam in a mud grab off Pier 15. Our Bio Lab folks separated it from the mud with a metal sieve and made video with the aid of a microscope. It is about half a centimeter long. We watched it “chill” for a little over a minute.
Our Global Studios (the team who helps build exhibits/programs for other science centers, museums & government agencies around the world) is working with the Mid America Science Museum on their renovation. This heavy hunk of coal was donated by Sebastian Mining in Western Arkansas. The teams are collecting geological samples from around the state to show all the different rocks and minerals that live under our feet - limestone, shale, quartz crystals, etc - telling a bit about how they got there, and different ways people use them.
Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are annoying #amiright but they are important to scientific research. Their body parts and behaviors are easy to observe and we share many common genes. As a result they are used to study a wide array of human health topics from alcohol intoxication to organ formation.
These particular Drosophila pupae have been removed from their pupae case. Watch their last few days of development into mature fruit flies, with an elapsed time of about 5 days. See more here.
Since the Exploratorium opened at its waterfront location more than a year ago, we’ve been engaged in a unique experiment with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle lent us a beautiful ocean buoy, outfitted with instruments to measure carbon in the ocean and atmosphere. For the last 15 months, it’s been bobbing in all its white and red glory in the lagoon between Piers 15 and 17, occasionally surrounded by mist from the fog bridge art piece.
We’ve reached a milestone with the experiment, the first time we’ve pulled the buoy out of the water for maintenance. It’s a complex choreography of forklift, mobile crane and a balky metal watercraft dubbed “the angry bathtub” to lift the one ton buoy from the water onto our outdoor plaza. Read more.