Janet’s Planet: NASA picks Nashville to present special exhibit

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With the eclipse just over a week away, the search is still on for the best places to watch the once-in-a-lifetime event.

News 2’s eclipse expert, Janet Ivey of Janet’s Planet, explains why NASA chose to present a special exhibit at one of the most unassuming locations in Nashville.

Fort Houston refers to themselves as “Facilitators of Human Potential.” It’s a place to make, learn and work.

“So, here we try to make this place a conduit, or just a vehicle for you to have an idea, take that idea and then make it a reality,” explained Nick.

Nick started as a member at Fort Houston and now he helps manage it.

(Graphic: WKRN)

“I came to Fort Houston about three years ago as just kind of a curious member,” he recalled. “I had limited metal working experience and decided to kind of use the opportunity to learn and just brought my opportunity to learn here. [I] just developed kind of metal working in the context of a kind of DIY environment like Fort Houston.”

He continued, “People want to make stuff and not everybody has a resource to do so, or space or money, and so to have a place like Fort Houston where you can come and just do and make anything is really inspiring. I kind of look at this space as a petri dish, like there’s different cultures here, like we have a metal shop and a wood shop as our premier shops so that’s what kind of gets the most attention and what gets the most use. All of our makers are artists in some shape or form.”

Besides hosting an art crawl every first Saturday of the month, during the month of August Fort Houston is boasting NASA’s Solarium exhibit from Aug. 17 through 21.

“To have a time lapse just showing the insane power of our Sun is really humbling and it’s a great honor,” said Nick.

The installation is the work of two NASA video producers and a data visualizer.

One full minute of footage is the result of roughly 10 hours’ worth of work.

Solarium, or an innovative new piece of video art that taps into a vast reservoir of imagery from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory shows the Sun’s atmosphere dancing. Giant loops swell up over the surface and waves sweep through and eruptions of material five, 10, 50 times the size of Earth explode out into space.

“I hope this exhibit generates some curiosity for people. To say this is what the Sun looks like in time lapse, ‘Are you serious? What does that mean for me here?’ Oh, wow the Sun is this powerful and we are at its mercy. We want to be able to empower people to be able to have that feeling of like, ‘Oh I can do this, I can imagine, I can dream and also make it a reality using the resources that I immerse myself in like Fort Houston.”

Whether you want to make something, learn something or get eclipse inspired, Fort Houston offers all these opportunities.

Don’t forget, August 17 through 21 you can get an up-close and personal view of our amazing Sun in NASA’s Solarium exhibit.

Visit wkrn.com/eclipse for all the resources and information you need.