Orbit Earth like an astronaut and marvel at the earthly splendour of the changing seasons. Since March 2016 visitors to Gasometer Oberhausen have been able to experience this spectacle. Some 750,000 people came in droves last year to this 100 meter high industrial monument and made " Nature‘s Wonders " the most successful single exhibition of 2016 in Germany while at the same time breaking a visitor record at Gasometer Oberhausen. "These many visitors convincingly demonstrate the fascination of earth observation," notes Nils Sparwasser of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Scientists generated a total of no less than 1.5 million images to show the beauty of Earth and at the same time make it possible to view our home planet from the vantage point of space. The result: a globe of 20 metres diameter on which day and night are alternately projected and bands of clouds make visible the air currents flowing around the planet. "When visitors to Gasometer Oberhausen look at this man-made globe they are seeing the great variety of earth observation data we acquire and use day after day to better understand and preserve nature’s wonders."
Extended to November 2017
A unique look at our home planet from space is provided by a trip in a glass panorama elevator up to the roof of the Gasometer. Visitors can marvel at life’s facets in an exhibit underneath the Earth representation. "The outstanding success of the exhibit shows us the fascination that life itself, in its intelligence and variety, exerts on people – and the value of preserving these unbelievably ingenious biological systems, both large and small", declares the curator, Prof. Peter Pachnicke. "Nature’s Wonders" examines growth and origins on our planet. Some 150 exceptional, large-scale photographs by internationally acclaimed nature photographers and breath-taking film excerpts reveal fascinating, creative life forces. They tell of unusual sensory capabilities and brilliant strategies in the struggle for existence, sexual rituals, the wealth of social relationships, and the ability of different species to live together. Because of the continued strong visitor response the exhibit was extended already in autumn to 30 November 2017.
Earth as a gigantic puzzle
The crafted earth began with data sets from a wide variety of satellites, recorded day and night, with and without cloud cover, also capturing phenomena invisible to the human eye. "It was an enormous challenge for us to create a consistent image from this mass of data and then to produce the best possible earth animation", explains Nils Sparwasser of DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC). From individual segments of remote sensing data and information supplied by radar satellites, SRTM missions, and weather satellites the big picture gradually emerged. All the pieces of the puzzle were matched and combined until a 3D representation of Earth could finally be admired. Computers were busy for 115 days round the clock to compute the animation, which has a resolution of 58 million pixels.