LSC, GPU Energy
and ASCI

SolarScapes Commission


    Our proposed installation demonstrates the principles of solar evolution by creating a "projection screen" on the interior surface of the observation tower. The screen consists of a translucent white fiberglass fabric attached to the mullions by wires, replacing the existing black mesh canopy. Four identical banks of lights, mounted on the angled sheet rock walls along the perimeter of the observation deck illuminate their opposing pyramidal glass skylights. Each bank of lights consists of a main spotlight of 500 watts, with computer controllable color filters and  adjustable spot diameters. These lights can sweep across the skylight, imparting an impression of motion. The computer will keep the total power at or below 2.5 kw at all times

   The Intellabeam  flood lights will be programmed in parallel to the standard model of stellar evolution (please see the approximate simulations above for illustration). During the first stage small spots with patterned irises will sweep across the windows, giving the impression of a rotating mass of red gases. As time progresses, the Intellabeam systems will project a stronger yellow center disk  as the smaller spots fade away. For a few minutes, each face of the observation deck glows with a bright yellow orb, as if enclosing a miniature sun. Then, in Stage 3, the lights turn bright red and  diffuse as the sun explodes. In Stage 4, a bright white, but smaller image of the sun is centered on the observation deck windows. Finally, the light fades away.

     Each solar cycle will take about five minutes, repeating twelve times an hour throughout the night. At this high rate, billions of years of stellar evolution are compressed into a human attention span, so that people stuck in traffic, strolling in Liberty State Park, or flying over NYC, can experience an entire sequence without interruption.

     However, five hundred watts of lighting per window is, at best, minimally acceptable for an installation that could be visible 2 miles away in NYC. Realistically, 500 watts is equivalent to about five 100 watt lights bulbs- which is a bit like peering at a few well lit apartment windows from across town. Never the less, if testing shows decent visibility, then some lights may be aimed into the clearstory tower as well.

     To complete this commission, Arno Penzias, Nobel Prize in Physics for co-discovery of the "Big Bang"'s background radiation, has agreed to act as technical advisor to assure scientific accuracy of the display.


copyright Greg Blonder 1999