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"Auroral Oval Spiral Top" Performed in Kibo

Last Updated: May 13, 2011

* All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

One of the art projects, which has been prepared for the Second Phase of the Pilot Mission for the Utilization of Culture/ Humanities/ Social Science with JAXA-JEM, "Auroral Oval Spiral Top*" was performed in the Japanese Experiment Module, Kibo.

*Project Proposer: Takuro Osaka, Professor, University of Tsukuba

"Auroral Oval Spiral Top" uses a spinning top that has arms illuminating with LED linear light sources and point light sources. Various movements of the spinning top floating in microgravity show aurora-like light traces. "Auroral Oval Spiral Top" was performed in Kibo from 7:44 p.m. through 10:10 p.m. on May 12, 2011.

The project's precursor mission "Spiral Top", which was performed on April 30, 2009, was designed to produce light arts using a spinning top that has arms illuminating with LED point light sources. "Auroral Oval Spiral Top" was the second version and designed to produce aurora-like luminescence traces using a spinning top with both linear and point light sources. In microgravity, the center of gravity of the spinning top continuously and randomly moves while it is spinning. Using the characteristics of the top in microgravity, the project tries to produce various light arts using its unexpected movements/spins, by changing attaching locations of its arms and weights.

Spiral Top (performed in April 2009)

Spiral Top (performed in April 2009)

Special Message from Porject Proposer

We spent several months for preparation of this space experiment. Especially, the In-flight process, including onboard arrangement and setup were hard work for us.

It seemed that our effort is finally rewarded since the experiment went just as we expected. We are looking forward to watching video of the Auroral Oval Spiral Top.

Photo: Professor Osaka monitoring the experiment from the UOA

Professor Osaka monitoring the experiment from the UOA, TKSC

Photo: Aurora Oval Spiral Top

Aurora Oval Spiral Top

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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