November 12, 2015 at 03:40:09 UTC
NASA asked the staff from JPL to help add some excitement to the Hyperboard exhibit so they brought in a fursuiting scientist!
AGU fall meeting, 2013 - San Francisco.
on November 12, 2015 at 23:55:42 UTC
NASA must be desperate. snickers
on November 14, 2015 at 13:03:25 UTC
Oh they always like the help of a good (and free) volunteer!
on November 13, 2015 at 06:01:22 UTC
It's amazing the precision of our oceanic current mapping. I would've expected a lot more large currents, but that there are so many small circular ones makes some sense now that I see it.
on November 13, 2015 at 06:05:29 UTC
How are the currents related to the angular speed of the surface of the earth at that latitude? Clearly the water is faster and moves more uniformly nearer the equator, where the surface of the earth is spinning around the axis the fastest.
on November 14, 2015 at 12:51:41 UTC
That''s the nature of the coriolis forces. The centripital velocity of oceans at the poles is much less than that at the equator. Since the ocean currents carry water across latitudes, the water retains its centripital velocity. Thus, water from the high lattitudes that ends up migrating south is moving slower than water from the low lattitudes that moves north, so it's dragged west. The low-lattitude waters moving north get pulled eastward, because they retain the higher equatorial centripital velocity . This causes a curl in the ocean currents, and waters in the northern hemisphere curl in a clockwise direction as a result. The opposite occurs in the southern hemisphere. At opposite ends of the curl (i.e. the poles and the equator) the water moves pretty much straight east, because it's in-between the two spinning cogs of the coriolis wheels.
That's my understanding of it, anyway. It can be proven using gravity, centrifugal acceleration, and partial differential equations but I don't want to go there this morning ;) It's too much for a dog's brain!
on November 15, 2015 at 08:49:36 UTC
Ah, good explanation! Makes sense! :)
on November 13, 2015 at 06:06:26 UTC
Also, fruiting scientists are my favorite. :D How did they take it?
on November 14, 2015 at 13:01:47 UTC
The JPL guys loved it - as it was a Friday afternoon, last day of the great AGU fall meeting in San Francisco. So the exhibitors were tired & bored, anyway. NASA and JPL shared a pavilion, and when JPL saw me, they called me over and said "Hey! We really, really want a picture of you next to the NASA Hyperboard. So I did it - and I pantomimed the global atmospheric model presentation, which at that point was running as a pre-recorded audio, for half of the seven (as I recall) minute presentation. It drew quite a crowd - lots of people standing around, smirking and snapping cellphone photos. I actually expected more photos to show up on twitter of that stunt.
The director of the AGU exhibition (SF's largest conferrence at the Moscone center) sought me out and asked me to contact him if I was planning to return the following year, because as he put it, "Let me know so that we can plan for you". Which in retrospect is cryptic enough to mean two totally different things -- Unfortunately I have not been back there to find out. However I think he meant something good. I hope to return in December, 2016.