Stennisphere to Debut New Exhibit: 'The Lost Images of Hurri

by John C. Stennis Space Center

More articles in Satellites

HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. - The public is invited to StenniSphere, the award-winning visitor center at Stennis Space Center, this Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the debut of a new exhibit, "The Lost Images of Hurricane Camille."

On Aug. 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille, a Category 5 storm, devastated the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Now, 33 years later, recently discovered aerial images will be on display for the public to view. The event is made possible by NASA's Earth Science Applications Directorate at Stennis and GeoTek Earth Imaging Center, an aerial acquisitions and remote sensing firm located at Stennis.

"The Lost Images of Hurricane Camille" display will feature seven computer-enhanced, 40" x 60" images discovered by Daniel Lee, president of GeoTek Management Services Company. "These images offer a unique view, because most of the photos of Camille's devastation are from the ground. These aerial images provide a bird's-eye view," said Lee. "From a scientific and technical standpoint, what's critical is that the photos allow viewers to quantify the damage along the coastline that cannot be seen from one small snapshot." The images' aerial perspective will allow visitors who lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast when Camille hit to identify their neighborhoods and even pinpoint their houses. The photographs include the areas of Biloxi, Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis and Waveland.

Formal presentations in StenniSphere will begin at l p.m. NASA's Dr. Marco Giardino, acting chief of the Applications Engineering Division for the Earth Science Applications Directorate at Stennis, will discuss how advances in technology now allow civil defense personnel to take a much more proactive approach to disaster preparation.

"NASA's orbiting sensors developed over the last 30 years provide increasingly accurate data on hurricane formation and forecasts," said Giardino. "Hurricanes form over tropical waters, typically when sea surface temperatures warm to about 80°F or greater, a phenomenon that can be accurately measured from space today. The newest NASA sensors like MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) collect data that builds advanced models of hurricane structure and offer the hope that by improving our understanding of these enormous storms we can better predict their power and manage their impact." Lee will conduct a presentation at 1:20 p.m. followed at 2 p.m. by Richard Rose, director of Harrison County's Project Impact, who will discuss disaster preparedness.

Local weather forecasters will also conduct presentations about hurricane tracking. The 403rd Weather Reconnaissance Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, the Hurricane Hunters, will also be on hand to conduct demonstrations. Rare video footage filmed during the first few days after Camille also will be shown throughout the day.

The day-long event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exhibit remaining on display in StenniSphere throughout the hurricane season.

Visitors wishing to attend the debut and view the new exhibit should arrive at the Launch Pad at the Hancock County Welcome Center on I-10 (Exit 2) by 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17. Shuttle buses depart every 15 to 20 minutes from the Launch Pad, where all tours of StenniSphere begin.

StenniSphere is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, free of charge. After Labor Day, operating hours will be Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. StenniSphere is closed on major holidays.

For more information, call (228) 688-2370 or 1-800-237-1821 (Option 1) in Mississippi and Louisiana.