Space Science Activities

MMS Discovery Dome
Learn about the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission in the Discovery Dome! Also a tour of the planets for younger visitors. Scouts wanting badges can also view the stars and planets in the planetarium.

The Planeterrella: Space Weather in a Jar
Experience space weather with UCLA’s Planeterrella, a specially designed plasma generator that simulates the auroral lights, electric currents, and magnetic fields that connect the Sun and Earth. This is a unique opportunity to see plasmas and magnetic fields up close; these electrified gases are mostly invisible, yet make up over 99% of the matter in our solar system and the universe. Learn more about space weather, Earth’s magnetic force field, and the solar wind, which can pose serious hazards to our society’s electrical, communications, and satellite infrastructure.

UCLA ELFIN Cubesat: A Tiny Space Weather Probe
Meet student engineers and handle real test models from UCLA’s first microsatellite, designed and built by undergraduates. Funded by NASA and NSF and launching in 2017, ELFIN is short for Electron Loss and Fields Investigation. ELFIN will use special “eyes and ears” to sense electromagnetic waves in the Van Allen Radiation Belts, unraveling the physics of how these waves scatter charged particles out of the belts and into Earth’s atmosphere to form the polar auroral lights.

STEM Innovation, Magnetism and Big Data
The exhibit will consist of three activities. The first will be a ‘Smart Device’ station where several apps will be used to look at data from solar satellite missions . We will also showcase the new MMS educators ‘Big Data’ Google book. Attendees will be encouraged to download the ‘Smart Device’ resources. The second exhibit will showcase a portable magnetic field demonstration kit that can be used in classroom settings to open discussions on magnetism and how it plays a significant role in space weather. The third exhibit will include building handheld models through the use of 2D and 3D printing of the upcoming Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission .This mission was launched in March 2015 and is currently investigating how the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields connect and disconnect, explosively transferring energy from one to the other — a process that occurs throughout the universe, known as magnetic reconnection.

SETI Institute: Extrasolar Planet Discoveries
Meet an astronomer, and learn about how extrasolar planets are discovered. Make a starfinder to take home that shows which stars host planets.

Mars Exploration: Science and Science Fiction
Meet explorer and planetary scientist, Dr. Pascal Lee, author of the award winning “Mission Mars”, a guide book for young future Mars explorers. Books available for purchase, and book signing.

Mars Trek
NASA’s Mars Trek web portal allows you to fly above the surface of Mars, explore its exotic landforms, and take advantage of visualizations returned from various instruments aboard various spacecraft in orbit around Mars. You’ll also want to try out Mars Trek’s new immersive 3D goggles for an amazing first-hand experience on Mars.

From Earth to Ploonoids
What is a ploonoid, you ask? Join us to find out and to explore the different ways we are exploring planetary bodies, moons, and asteroids, using a variety of remote sensing technology!

Discover Space Weather and Sun’s Superpowers: Using CCMC’s Innovative Tools and Applications
Discover the sun’s true power! Meet real space weather forecasters and learn about space physics models that make modern space weather forecasting possible.

Explore the Ionosphere with NASA’s ICON Mission
Come and explore the boundary of space with NASA’s ICON Mission, where we will investigate the balances between Earth weather and space weather in the Earth’s ionosphere.