9 December 2013

Science, Starry Nights, and The Big Apple (Along with some other things)…

Posted by Dan Satterfield


Empire State Building from the top of Rockefeller Center (NBC) in New York. Dan’s pic.

I’ve been on a short holiday to New York, and ran into a little scientific art at the MOMA on 53rd street. It’s funny, because I was just wondering about why NASA (or someone else) has not put on display some of the amazing photographs from space, when I ran right into this:

Wind Map using real time data at the Metropolitan Museum of Art In Manhattan.

Wind Map using real-time data at the Museum of Modern Art In Manhattan. Dan’s pic.

Some folks were standing by it and trying to interpret it, so I explained that it was their lucky day because I was a Meteorologist, and stepped in as a museum guide! Likely my first and last stint as an art guide at the MOMA! If you really want to see some space pics of course, just walk up and across Central Park to the equally amazing Hayden Planetarium! Still, I think it is great that the map is on the wall of the MOMA.

I also saw one of the most famous and IMHO opinion beautiful paintings on Earth:

Starry photo

My pic of Vincent’s masterpiece…

Oh, and there is a science connection here as well! An Astronomer recently recreated the painting using 100’s of images from Hubble!

Other Things

IMG_4817Dr. Bob Brier’s lectures on The History of Ancient Egypt (from the Teaching Company) mentions the Temple of Dendur being at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Avenue, and it’s magnificent. I’ve mentioned how superb his course is, and thanks to him I could read some of the Hieroglyphs! Taking his course (before visiting the Met) gives you an order of magnitude more perspective on what you are seeing, and outside of Cairo there is no better collection (although the British Museum might differ). I’ve been lucky enough to visit the British Museum, and the National Gallery in London along with the Louvre in Paris, and the Met ranks with them as the greatest museum on Earth.

In Other News

Dr. Jennifer Francis is a co-author of a fascinating new paper about Arctic Sea ice loss and changes in weather patterns over the Northern Hemisphere. Andrew Freedman at Climate Central has an excellent post about this and how it is becoming a major debate among we weather and climate folks. There is little doubt that anthropogenic warming is causing the loss of sea ice, but just how this is being manifested in our day-to-day weather is still uncertain.