With the lights on, it's just a 50-lb. ball coated with white house paint. But in the dark, Science on a Sphere represents a new way of viewing the world. Developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the technology, which uses four projectors, could initially beam only basic pictures of planets. But researchers at NASA figured out a way to use full-motion video to create a mind-bending, cinema-in-the-round experience. Their first effort is a 16-min. film, Footprints, which depicts spinning hurricanes and zooming cars. Just imagine what they'll do with the next episode of Star Wars.
Inventor NASA, Honeywell
Availability: Dec. 7; initially at 10 U.S. science centers
To learn more visit www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/exhibits/footprints.html