South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Save a snowball to launch on June 21 off USS Requin at the science center


January 12, 2010

Snow has arrived in a flurry, and Carnegie Science Center is offering a unique opportunity to capture a bit of winter now, preserve it for a few months, then bring it in—and celebrate the Summer Solstice with a special "Name Your Own Price" Day.

All visitors who make a snowball this winter, save it in their freezer, and bring it in on the first day of summer, Monday, June 21, will be able to choose what they pay for general admission.

In addition to naming their own price, every person who brings a snowball to the Science Center on that day also will be able to launch his or her snowball into the Ohio River from aboard the USS Requin submarine (weather permitting).

Hundreds of snowballs survived the winter and spring of 2009 in freezers throughout the region and beyond, making their way to the Science Center—in coolers, freezer bags, frosty coffee cans, and plastic storage containers, among others.

The Science Center invites all who would like to name their own price for a day to start packing the snow and remember these snowy facts:

• Snow forms from tiny crystals in clouds. Snow is not frozen rain; that's called sleet.

• Most snowflakes melt before reaching the ground.

• No two snowflakes are identical.

• Each snowflake is made up of two to 200 separate crystals, on average.

• Although it appears white, snow actually is transparent. Snow crystals act as prisms and break up the Sun's light into the entire color spectrum. The human eye can't handle that kind of sensory overload, so it is processed as white. If a region's soil contains more iron, giving it a reddish tinge, snow may appear pink—wind will blow dirt and dust into the atmosphere and clouds, where the snow crystals form initially.


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