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‘Nautilus Live’ lets students follow deep-sea exploration in real time as discoveries are made

SiteofWeek070710Robert Ballard, the explorer best known for the discovery of the Titanic and other wrecks, has not only made deep-sea exploration more accessible for K-12 and college students, but he’ll feed them updates through two of their favorite web sites: Facebook and Twitter. Ballard visited the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration in Connecticut on June 23 to introduce his new Nautilus Live Theater, along with a new web site where people can watch his expeditions live. Visitors to the aquarium will be able to watch Ballard’s latest expeditions in real time on a huge, high-definition screen. They’ll also be able to talk to the scientists and engineers aboard the Okeanos Explorer and Nautilus, the two ships Ballard will be using in the Black and Aegean seas and the Pacific Ocean this summer to explore, among other things, ancient wrecks that could contain the mummified remains of 2,000-year-old sailors and a massive underwater volcano where marine life lives in boiling water. The initiative has an even greater reach: Ballard has launched Nautilus Live, a web site that allows people to follow the expeditions live and listen to the scientists in the control rooms as the discoveries are made. With the help of 20 cameras aboard the ships and on their remotely operated vehicles, those logging on will see and hear exactly what the scientists are seeing and hearing, 24 hours a day. And just to make sure people don’t miss anything, Facebook and Twitter will send out alerts if it appears the teams are closing in on an important discovery. This will allow followers to get to their computers and be there when it happens. “We’ll never have a dull moment,” Ballard said. “We’ll always be doing something. The idea is to constantly go with the action.”

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