Local

July 13, 2012

Biosphere 2: Where science lives

Tags:
Photos and story by Capt. Elizabeth Magnusson
944th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Visitors to Biosphere 2 can explore 7,200,000 cubic feet of sealed glass structure on a guided tour that takes them through five ecosystems including an ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, a tropical rainforest, savannah grassland and a fog desert. The tour also takes a look at the mechanics of the Biosphere with a visit to the technosphere where all the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems are housed.

Biosphere 2 offers one of Time Life’s 50 must-see “Wonders of the World,” and a great weekend destination right in our own backyard.

Located just a short two hours from Phoenix at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, the one-of-a-kind structure is a great weekend destination for families and friends. Now owned by the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2 was built in 1986 to research and develop self-sustaining space-colonization technology.

Biosphere 2, one of Time Life’s 50 must-see “Wonders of the World,” is located just north of Tucson at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The one-of-a-kind facility sits on a ridge at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet and is surrounded by a natural desert preserve.

The facility is most famous for its two missions in the early 1990s, which sealed scientists inside the enclosure first for two years, then again for seven months. Without external interference, researchers were able to study how changes to Earth’s atmosphere occur and affect its ecology. Since then, the facility has been sponsored by different universities for research, including studies on the effects of carbon dioxide on plants, the consequences of global climate change and land erosion.

Visitors can view exhibits and multimedia displays including a movie highlighting the past, present and future of Biosphere. Beyond the visitors’ center, follow paths to the Biosphere dome and be led on a guided tour through the immense glass structure and five ecosystems including an ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, a tropical rainforest, savannah grassland and a fog desert. Visitors will see real-time research and get a chance to wander through the living quarters of the original Biospherians. In addition to upper Biomes, tour the basement technosphere and check out the “lungs” that help the Biosphere breathe.

Biosphere 2 is a must to visit, even for those who are not science buffs. Just don’t ask where Biosphere 1 is … hint, we live in it.

Biosphere 2 is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. No reservations are required. For more information, call (520) 838-6200, or visit the website at http://www.b2science.org.

Visitors walk down a path through the fog desert during a tour of Biosphere 2.

Tour guides lead visitors down a maze of trails through the glass-covered biosphere, stopping to explain the ecosystems including the technology used to keep the biosphere functioning. The guides also share information on current, past and future experiments and projects being performed in the complex.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Rain

Lakefront property …

A staff sergeant watches as water continues to flood a parking lot Monday in front the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit on Luke Air Force Base. The base experienced a two-inch rainfall causing flooding and delays around Luke.
 
 
Senior Airman 
GRACE LEE

Thunderbolts save volts

Senior AirmanGRACE LEE A solar array panel stands on a dormitory roof Sept. 3 at Luke Air Force Base. There are currently four active solar arrays on base. The solar array shown will produce hot water to the dormitory. With res...
 
 

News Briefs September 12, 2014

GOV service station closure The Base Service Station (government-owned vehicle gas station) will close at midnight Sept. 28 and reopen at midnight Oct. 1. For more information, email Staff Sgt. Bradley Ahlemeyer at bradley.ahlemeyer@us.af.mil or call 623-856-7391. Quit tobacco for 31 days The Stoptober Challenge is to be smoke free for the month of October....
 

 
140908-F-BW200-019

Luke gets drenched

The water level creeps toward the 56th Fighter Wing headquarters building Monday on Luke Air Force Base. Flooding areas around Luke, nearly four inches of rain fell during the late monsoon season storm. It was joined by weather...
 
 
NDT4

Weapons maintainers: Providing munitions for the mission

Senior Airman Christopher Bolling, 56th EMS precision-guided munitions team member, performs a periodic inspection of a captive air missile 9 M. All conventional air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions are periodically inspected...
 
 
140830-F-BI157-007

Thunderbolts swim, bike, run

Participants take to the water Saturday at the Silver Wings Pool in the first event of the 7th Annual Luke Air Force Base Fall Triathlon. The swimming event was an eight-lap race followed by the biking and running events. For t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin