Science on a Sphere

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SFCC’s Science on a Sphere (SOS) program uses a white, 6 foot diameter sphere in a dark room (Rm# 803) to display images of Planet Earth and its various systems (water, land, air, Human impact). The SOS images are beautifully presented to create a rotating Earth. These images invite viewers to both learn and step back in awe of the beauty and complexity of our Earth.

The display of the planets and other bodies in our solar system are provided  as a comparison for our changing Earth’s climate.

The Science on a Sphere is an educational product of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The satellite imagery has been provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Topics to be Presented:

    • Earth’s Atmosphere
    • Earth’s Biosphere
    • Earth’s Bathysphere
    • Moon, Planets, Satellites
    • Our Milky Way Galaxy
    • Our Evolving Climate
    • Human Influence
    • Our Carbon Footprints
  • Solutions for the Future

Open time presentations will take place in Rm# 803: Mondays noon to 2 p.m. and Wednesdays 4 to 5:30 p.m. In addition  to a general overview of the SOS, we will present special shorter programs on various topics.

  • Feb 4, 12-2 pm — Earthquakes
  • Feb 6, 4-5:30 pm —- Tour of Solar System
  • Feb 11, 12-2 pm — Exoplanets Explained
  • Feb 13, 4-5:30 pm — Tale of 3 Planets
  • Feb 18, 12-2 pm — Messages
  • Feb 20. 4-5:30 pm — Climate Change
  • Feb 25, 12-2 pm — Climate Change
  • Feb 27. 4-5:30 pm — Mysteries

For more information on NOAA’s Science on a Sphere program see;

View Planetarium information.


Are you interested in SOS for your class? Please fill out this form!


In 2014, an initiative began to open a local site for the Science on a Sphere (SOS) resource developed by our National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The first working group had representatives of SFCC onboard. The vision “took” and the college made a commitment to do its best to become the first SOS site in New Mexico. Two years later and with $200,000 raised, plans began to renovate Room 803 to become the first (and only, to date) SOS Center in our state.

Vision or Goals

Overarching goal is for SOS to be a state wide educational resource, in particular Northern New Mexico.
Within SFCC the goal is to make SOS presentations and datasets available to all faculty for inclusion in their teaching curricula. Dr. Lenny Gannes as Chair of the Science Dept has been the prime presenter and trainer in this area at SFCC.
Outside SFCC the goal is to become an educational resource for SFPS and other related schools within the area. As a science educational tool, SOS presentations could be scheduled for all interested groups from all ages (pre-K to 12th graders to seniors). One of the original long term goals has been to have SFCC sponsor summer training programs on the possibilities of using SOS in the classrooms of Science Teachers.
As these next several months unfold, we are hoping that you, having visited the SOS Center, are beginning to see the educational potential of this resource and are considering the possibility of becoming a volunteer presenter.


Requests to schedule a presentation originate along two routes. SFCC related requests come through Dr. Lenny Gannes ( Outside requests come through Dr. Ed Barker (
The originator vets the request and contacts the OIT student SOS coordinator who does a check of the SOS Calendar and verifie that there is an available presenter for that date/time. Iterations may take place to finalize a good time for all concerned.


The cost to operate the center and provide transportation for outside groups is NOT built into the SFCC’s operating budgets. Consequently, any presentation to a group outside of SFCC will costs $90. If combined with a Planetarium presentation, the cost is $200. For those enitities not able to pay the $90 charge, please contact us to see if a scholarship could be worked out.

A gift to assist with the center’s operations would be most appreciated (estimated to be around $100 per school group visit). A larger sustaining gift to help with the ongoing operations, including funds to employ a center coordinator is especially needed. If you, or someone you know, would have interest in contributing to the operation of the SOS program, please use the link below.
Support Science on a Sphere with a donation of any amount

SFCC & HEC Closed Due to Weather: Saturday, Feb. 23

Based on the road conditions and forecasts regarding weather in our area, SFCC and the Santa Fe Higher Education Center will be closed on Saturday, Feb. 23. No on or off campus classes or activities will be held, and no labs or other student services will be available. TAX-AIDE at the HEC will not be available.