It's pics from Space! New exhibit opens at ETX science center - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

It's pics from Space! New exhibit opens at ETX science center

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Smithsonian Institute scientist Andrew K. Johnston likes to look at different scenes of the Earth from space. Smithsonian Institute scientist Andrew K. Johnston likes to look at different scenes of the Earth from space.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Most of us have used Google maps and seen the satellite imagery, maybe even of our own houses. Well, Smithsonian Institute scientist Andrew K. Johnston likes to look at different scenes of the Earth from space. In fact, that's the name of his traveling exhibit, and he has brought it to Tyler.

We caught up with him at Moore Middle School in Tyler to see some of his out of this world satellite photos.

Johnston has a PHD in Geographical Sciences and he likes seeing how geography affects the planet Earth. The photographs he has collected for his exhibit are stunning, and a little confusing.

"There are some dark features here. These are bodies of water; they're actually reservoirs. Do you want to guess what part of the world this is showing? I'll give you a hint. It's about a hundred miles left to right," Johnston said. "This is the area, so where in the world do you think we're looking? Between Canada and the U.S. That's interesting because of the difference in the dark and bright colors maybe? In fact it's a little closer to home. It's East Texas."

The students found out pretty quickly that's it's hard to tell where you are from the air, especially with false color imagery. Ben Dene learned they can substitute colors.

"The ground might look red, but that's just different vegetation. That's called a false picture. It's from a satellite and the ground isn't actually red," Ben said.

Seventh grade science teacher Phillip Pace shared his classroom with Kara Hegwood and her class to maximized Johnston's time, and a lot of what he said stuck.

Seventh grader Travis Mosley learned about satellites in geo-stationary orbit.

"They stay in orbit just like the Earth, and they take pictures and if you're lucky you'll get some good pictures. That's how we get some pictures on Google Maps," Travis stated.

And Johnston just couldn't resist showing this one:

"It's about one and a half times the size of a football field," Johnston revealed pointing at a strange land design.

People have done big drawings on the ground before, but Johnston explained some creative Australians had come up with the first artwork meant to be specifically viewed with a satellite.

Now that's looking at the big picture.

If you would like to see more of the Earth from Space exhibit, visit the Discovery Science Place just off the square in Tyler. The pictures will be on display through March.

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