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Contest: Win a WMAP beach ball – day 3!

We’ve been getting some great entries into our first two contests – and you can still enter those until Friday at 5PM ET. It’s the third day of our special week of contests, and here’s your next chance to win a prize pack of NASA stuff including a WMAP beach ball signed in bold black ink by Nobel Laureate John Mather! (We can assure you that the permanent ink on these is quite permanent, as it didn’t wash off when we took one of the beach balls into the Pacific Ocean for our photos.)


Here’s how to enter today’s contest!  Tell us:

What other NASA stuff could we put on a beach ball?

We’re always brainstorming about innovative ways to communicate NASA science, and we think that Chuck and Britt’s idea of putting WMAP data on a beach ball was pretty clever! But what else could go on a beach ball? Post your suggestion as a comment on this entry.

Comments are moderated and we ask that you be respectful. No profanity please! Any comments with non-NASA links may be edited or removed. Please keep the political and religious humor to a minimum – as a NASA blog we’re steering clear of that.  We’re also unable to publish comments that contain mature content. We’re trying to keep this all-ages!

Entries must be received by 5PM ET on Friday, October 1. We’ll announce the winner next week and mail out the prizes!

Good luck, and enter all five contests this week for your best chance to win NASA goodies. These contests are open to everyone.

Disclaimer: All opinions in this blog entry are that of specific individuals and do not represent those of NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, or Blueshift.

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  • K Ehnle says:

    Well other than the obvious map of any of the planets or moons, it’d be pretty neat to see a representation of the earth and its artificial satellites. The earth would be in the center or the “core” of the ball, & on the outside would be earth’s artificial satellites and their orbits. I suppose in an effort to conserve space, it’d have to feature only the ones built by private space agencies rather than commercial ones.

  • Brigitte says:

    What about the celestial sky? Or the moon? (or is that too basic for NASA?)

    Brigitte (reading you from France!)

  • Jackie Watson says:

    Obviously star charts would be a good one.

  • Will says:

    Would be great to have the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC wide angle camera images, of the lunar surface, mapped onto a beach ball. Or, if the LROC data doesn’t work, maybe the data from the LRO LOLA instrument.

  • Tavi Greiner says:

    I have two ideas that I would like to see on a beach ball:
    1) a NASA Exploration map, starting at a center point and radiating out and around.
    2) Mars surface exploration map – obviously, the beach ball is Mars, but is mapped with the history of all Mars landers, including both stationary and mobile.

  • C says:

    dark matter! ;)

  • jay says:

    electronics schematics of the LEM that landed on the Moon

  • ScottE says:

    Look through that magnifier backwards. We have the macro scale. Now do a micro-scale, nano-tech view.

    Perhaps a BuckyBall construct applied to a beachball.

  • ScottE says:

    Hmm… Tried to post a buckyball reference courtesy of JPL, but it ended up as a link on my screen name.

  • Nelly García says:

    Plank one-year all-sky survey!!!
    Well, it’s ESA’s, but everybody is NASA’s friend!

  • Jason Talley says:

    The Interstellar Boundary Explorer’s (IBEX) map of the heliosphere would be interesting. It would be nice to see the narrow ribbon of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) stretched across a beach ball. Also, this medium would provide a better visual for students to understand the heliosphere.

  • Isabel Bacellar says:

    What about Hubble’s Deep Field or a nebula (maybe, Crab Nebula)?
    A ball covered with a great number of nasa mission patches would become nice too.

  • Julio Vannini says:

    A map of the surface of the Moon, with a special X at the south pole, with a legend “Yep!, We found Ice right here!” and other similar markings showing the Apollo Landing sites :)

  • rindsay says:

    I’d love to see the entire solar system (sun + planets) in a moderately to-scale inflatable set. Lob Jupiter at your friends!

  • Eric Sklavos says:

    The mapping of an LHC particle collision with possible theoretical outcomes.

  • Brad O. says:

    I think it would be cool to see the paths (along with dates and times) of the upcoming total and annular solar eclipses depicted on a beach ball globe of the Earth. I might not be able to be in the areas where the path of totality is for any given one, but it would at least be fun to see where they’ll be. If you only show a certain number of years of upcoming eclipses, then you can put out newer ones after that period of time has passed. Well, I thought it would be neat… :)

  • James says:

    Perhaps a composite image and then broken down into each wavelength representation.

  • cap10curt says:

    The gravity map from the twin GRACE satellites would be pretty cool.

  • Stephanie says:

    I like all the other ideas mentioned above – showing contours/features of Solar System planets and natural Satellites.

    Larger planets could also have illustrations showing orbits and sizes of relevant satellites. Similar could be done with the Sun – that would be very awesome – showing sizes of planets (with such small dots for some planets!). I think that would be a really valuable teaching tool – showing the orbit orientations & planet sizes, instead of the planet sizes with occasionally the relative orbital distances.

    You could even go one step further and use fancy graphics to show the interior compositions of the various bodies.

    I’d love a series of celestial globes with illustrations of what can be seen from various positions on the Earth (North Pole vs. South Pole and Equator and in between) and different seasonal variations.

    And finally, a super geeky through-the-ages composite image of our old CMBR images through to the current picture.

  • Jamie Kang says:

    I’d like to see more all-sky surveys. You could do a series in the different wavelengths. You could include IRAS, 2MASS, COBE, ROSAT, etc. It’d be nice to see those from other organizations, as well, such as Akari and the Parkes GASS.

  • Tony Rice says:

    I’d like to see a history of NASA vehicles. Maybe manned rockets and vehicles on the upper hemisphere, unmanned on the lower.

    Great classroom reference (hey throw me the rocket ball!)

    It could be turned into a fun game as well. Toss someone the ball and they have to describe something about the vehicle their right thumb lands on.

  • Ameena says:

    I think it would be cool to have a map of the moon with a timeline for when each mission (manned and unmanned) landed.

  • Bella reinke says:

    I would like to see the moon with the flag and astronauts standing on it.

  • Susan Koscielski says:

    Maybe the Earth’s surface in the next 1,000 or 10,000 years. One showing worst case scenario and one showing best case scenario of what will happen if we do not take care of our home planet.

  • Peter says:

    The all sky surveys would be great, so pretty and all. However I would really want a starmap one since my stargazing skills really aren’t where they should be.

  • Do-Ming Lum says:

    Some possible beach ball ideas —

    1 – a star map, showing the sky in visible light as seen by Hubble. There would be two companion beach balls – the sky in infrared as mapped by Spitzer and its predecessors, and the sky in X-Rays as mapped by Chandra.

    2 – inflatable beach ball globes of the inner planets (including Earth’s moon), plus the larger moons of Jupiter and Saturn, to scale. Earth’s moon could be part of a set that includes Titan, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, all to scale.

    3 – a set of Earth globes showing the surface at different points in geologic history. The one from 12,000 years ago would show the Ice Age glaciation. The one from 65 million years ago would show the Chicxulub impact crater highlighted, and with blast damage zones. The one from 100 million years ago would show Gondwanaland and Laurasia. An even earlier one would show Pangea.

    4 – a beach ball of the Sun, showing the sun’s surface as revealed by STEREO A and B, as well as earlier solar monitoring missions. The sun surface image would be one in an active state, with sunspots and magnetic storms visible.

    5 – A Jupiter globe done as a large beach ball 3 to 4 feet is diameter showing lots of cloud detail. Beachballs of Ganymede, Europa, IO or Callisto are part of (2) above. The Jupiter beachball could include pingpong (or smaller) balls that show the four Galilean moons to scale.

    6 – A couple of Saturn beachballs, one large to the same scale as the Jupiter, one smaller. Both should include instructions on how to make paper rings to put around the ball. A beachball of Titan and other Saturnian moons is duscuyssed in (2) above. Like Jupiter, the large Saturn beachball would come with a set of smaller plastic balls that show the larger moons to scale.

    7 – A Pluto-Charon beachball set in anticipation of the Kuiper Express Pluto flyby in a few years. The initial set would be based on best available current imaging data. The set released in 2017/2018 would incorporate the results from the Kuiper Express probe.

  • Grieg Pedersen says:

    I think it would be cool to mark it up like a LEM supercritical helium tank and then fill with a helium mixture to make it neutrally buoyant.

  • Sheryl says:

    The possibilities are endless. How about a ball honoring our hard working friends, Voyager1, Voyager2, Hubble, Little SDO, etc.

  • Benjamin Hunt says:

    I’d like to see a high-quality map of the Milky Way galaxy as seen from Earth on such a beach ball. More than just a map of the night sky, it should focus on and point out features of the galactic disk we see at night (well, those of us not in cities).

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