Open-door day

The research vessel "Sun" to touch

The "Sun" in the Gulf of Cadiz / Spain DFG Research Center Ocean Rands
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After 550, 000 nautical miles and twelve years, the almost 100-meter-long research vessel "Sonne" is running for the first time again at a German port. This event is used by the shipping company Forschungsschiffahrt and the DFG Research Center Ocean Margins to invite all interested citizens to an Open House on December 30, 2003 from 10 am to 4 pm in the Bremen Europahafen.

Since her last visit to Germany, the "sun" has traveled almost three times the distance from Earth to the Moon, mainly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She has helped with state-of-the-art technology to answer current marine research questions. Both captain and crew as well as scientists, technicians and students report on the work on board the "sun". For example, a tour of the working deck, laboratories and trade fair leads up to the bridge. Various scientific topics are taken up: the latest results of the "Sun" expedition in the Gulf of Mexico, the relationships between ocean and climate and the use of new technology in marine research.

New and proven devices can admire visitors on the working deck of the sun. For example, a novel research robot that remotely examines the seabed - similar to a Mars exploration vehicle. Or the gravity corer, which punches samples from the seabed in water depths of up to 6, 000 meters. The up to 18 meter long sediment samples give the researchers a glimpse into the past of our planet. Of course, visitors can also see the labs where scientists analyze such unwieldy samples.

A cut through the yeast cerulenin-inhibited fatty acid synthase reveals the central highly symmetric a-wheel structure. For each fatty acid synthase we find 6 ketoacyl synthases (shown in blue), which are inhibited by one molecule of cerulenin (in red). Other units of fatty acid synthase are shown in green and white. With a diameter of about 25 nanometers (1nm = 1 thousandth of a micron), the yeast fatty acid synthase is one of the largest known enzyme structures and thus reaches the dimension of viruses. © Patrik Johanson / Martin Grininger / MPI of Biochemistry

Some of these samples will go up in flames on the open day. Because sometimes there are gas hydrates in the cores - a frozen mixture of water and combustible methane gas. Huge amounts of this mixture are stored in the seabed. The potential it brings and the dangers it poses can be discussed with the attending scientists as they make the ice burn. In the Geolabor, visitors get to know the white gold of the oceanographer. Under the microscope, they can look at the limestone housing of foraminifera. These are filigree unicellular organisms that store much information about the climate in their shells.

The degree of connectivity between nerve cells is legendary. But just as much as the adult brain is capable of reconnecting after a failure, science is now amazed. The photo shows a color map of the visual cortex seven days (l.) And twelve days (r.) After a small retina lesion (center). Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology / Keck

Curious about a family outing of a different kind between the holidays? display

Come on board: On 30.12.2003 between 10 and 16 o'clock lies the research ship "sun" in the Bremer Europahafen in the consul-Smidt-Str. at the shed 1. All citizens are cordially invited. The visit is free.

Further information on the visit to the "Sun" in Bremen, a route sketch and an on-board diary with many photos of the current expedition can be found on the Internet at:

(DFG Research Center Ozeanr nder, 17.12.2003 - Kirsten Achenbach / DFG Research Center Ocean Frontier Bremen (RCOM))