Frost Science

FaviconDive into U.M.’s Award-Winning Underwater Photography Exhibit 7 Jun 2021, 5:09 pm

Frost Science is proud to host the 2020 Annual Underwater Photography Contest exhibit, presented by the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

The exhibit showcases the 37 winning submissions from the contest and is on view on the Dive level of the museum’s Aquarium through September 6. Since its inception in 2005, the contest has drawn several thousand entrants.

From Raja Ampat, Indonesia, to Queensland, Australia, to West Palm Beach, Florida, submissions to the 2020 contest came from all over the world. More than 700 entries were received, and each showed the vastness of life under the sea from all corners of the globe. Judged by a panel of professional photographers and marine scientists, photographs are divided into six separate categories and is open to all amateur photographers who earn no more than 20 percent of their income from photography. 



A new category was added last year for marine conservation, which looks to capture the connection between humanity and the marine environment, in a positive or negative light. The overall winner of the contest is a close up of a short-snouted seahorse (Hippocampus hippocampus) which was captured by Luc Rooman in Tholen, Netherlands. The other winning images showcase a diverse array of sea life, including a spotted burrfish (Chilomycterus reticulatus), a bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana), a whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) and more.

The 2020 Annual Underwater Photography Contest was generously supported by Canon USA and Blackbeard Cruises.

The post Dive into U.M.’s Award-Winning Underwater Photography Exhibit appeared first on Frost Science.

FaviconGet Vaccinated at Frost Science 3 Jun 2021, 4:04 pm

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is proud to partner with Miami-Dade County, the Miami-Dade County Fire Department, Nomi Health and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to host a free, three-day COVID-19 vaccination clinic for all members of the general public ages 12 and up. Getting vaccinated is an important step to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community from COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know.

Clinic Days and Hours

To register for an appointment, please visit and select ‘Frost Science Museum’ as the location.

Clinic dates:

  • Friday, June 11 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 12 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 13 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For those receiving the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose will be scheduled onsite after you get your first dose.

Second dose clinic date:

  • Saturday, July 3 – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

What to Know

  • Vaccinations are available to all members of the general public (age 12+), regardless of whether you are a museum member or purchase a ticket to visit Frost Science that day. (Please note, you will still need a museum ticket or museum membership to enter the museum after your vaccination.)
  • Advanced registration for an appointment is encouraged; walk-ins will be welcomed as long as space remains available. Both the Pfizer and the single-shot Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines will be administered, and guests will be welcomed to return 21 days later to the museum to receive their second Pfizer shot. Minors between the ages of 12 – 17 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.
  • Physicians and experts from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital will also be onsite with information and resources regarding the vaccines, and to assist those interested in getting the vaccine with any questions they may have.
  • Need help getting here? You can take a FREE Lyft or Uber ride to and from your appointment. Visit or for more information.

Each person vaccinated will receive a free museum admission ticket to the museum (can be used either same day after your vaccination or any day through December 31, 2021). In addition, all who get vaccinated at the museum will receive a 10% discount at the museum’s onsite Food@Science café and Science Store retail space on the day of their vaccination (just show your vaccination card with that day’s vaccination date!).

Plus, everyone 18 years of age or older who is vaccinated at Frost Science will be eligible to enter to win a free Frost Science Family level membership and a $100 museum gift card. (To view contest rules, click here.)

The vaccination clinic location at Frost Science will be accessible via the museum’s outdoor Science Plaza/Knight Plaza. See map below for location assistance. A public restroom is available at the museum for those getting vaccinated, accessible via Science Plaza near the vaccination clinic exit.

Get information on myths and facts about the COVID-19 vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Have questions about vaccines? Get the facts at the I Did It! website. Find out more about how an infectious disease like COVID-19 emerges, how vaccines work, and why vaccination will play a critical role in the next phase against COVID-19 in The Science of COVID-19.

Getting here

Frost Science is located at 1101 Biscayne Blvd. in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park, next to the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Frost Science is directly adjacent to the Miami-Dade Metromover, Museum Park station. Take the Omni Loop train to Museum Park station to arrive steps from the museum entrance.


Self-parking is available in the museum garage for a flat rate of $15. To explore additional transportation and parking options, please visit

Plan Your Museum Visit: Science Happens Here

Frost Science has served the community in a myriad of ways – not only by inspiring people to enjoy science and understand its power to positively impact our world – but by being a champion for science learning and research, community access, environmental conversation, and animal care and rehabilitation.

The museum is open daily for visitation from 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. To purchase tickets and plan a visit, please click here.

Press and Media

If you are a member of the media and would like to receive more information, arrange interviews or receive images, please contact us via email at

The post Get Vaccinated at Frost Science appeared first on Frost Science.

FaviconSummer of Science 26 May 2021, 6:52 pm

This summer, we’re staying open daily until 7:00 p.m. starting Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day) through Saturday, August 21. We’ve also added extra planetarium shows to our line-up. Take advantage of the extra time to extend your visit and explore! Visit to book your tickets.

The post Summer of Science appeared first on Frost Science.

FaviconA is for Ana: Early Start for a Forecasted Active Hurricane Season 26 May 2021, 2:17 pm

A snapshot of five named storms during the record-breaking 2020 hurricane season.

Each year the Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1st through November 30th. However, during active years, it’s not uncommon for them to have an early start in May. The predictions are in for the 2021 season, and it’s looking like an above-average season. With Subtropical Storm Ana already in the books, let’s breakdown what the forecast is for this upcoming season, and what it means for us in South Florida?

The 2020 hurricane season broke all the records for tropical storms. There were 30 named tropical storms, with 13 becoming hurricanes and 6 reaching major hurricane strength (Category 3 or higher). Twelve of those storms impacted the US, with five alone making landfall in Louisiana. We reached so far into the Greek letters, and had too many storms with similar sounding names, that the World Meteorological Organization decided to change the naming system for storms. Now each year will still have a list of 21 names, but if those names are all used, then there is a supplemental list of 21 names. Thus it’s possible to have two A-named storms during an active season.

Hurricane Season 2021 Predictions

What’s the prediction for 2021? Here is a table that summarizes the forecasts from major players in the seasonal hurricane prediction game.

OrganizationNamed StormsHurricanesMajor Hurricanes (Cat 3+)
NOAA13 - 206 - 103 - 5
Colorado State University
The Weather Company1984
Climatological Average (1991-2020)1473

Every 10 years an updated climatological average is done on storm activity. This just happened at the end of 2020, to begin being used in the 2021 seasonal forecasts. This average is what is used to know whether a season will be above-average, below-average, or normal/average. As you can see, an above-average season is predicted, but why?

There are several factors that contribute to seasonal forecasts for hurricane activity. Sea surface temperatures matter a lot, and not just in the Atlantic. The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) looks at the average sea surface temperature along the equator in the East and Central Pacific Ocean and switches between being warmer (El Niño), cooler (La Niña), and neutral. The phase that ENSO is in actually impacts the entire global climate, including rainfall, winter climates and more. The El Niño phase usually results in lower activity in the Atlantic hurricane season, and the neutral and La Niña phases tend to have higher activity. This is because of changes in the wind patterns in the Atlantic. ENSO is currently in the neutral phase and is forecasted to remain neutral through the summer, with a possibility of heading to a La Niña phase in early winter.

Back in the Atlantic Ocean, a large factor is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). This is a change in the average sea surface temperature across the North Atlantic Ocean, from the equator to Greenland, which switches from warmer to colder sea surface temperatures for 20 to 40 years at a time. Currently the AMO is in a warm phase, which contributes to a greater frequency in hurricane activity (and is part of the reason the averages for hurricane activity went up for 1991-2020, when compared to 1981-2010).

Other factors used are global computer models that look at a variety of conditions in the ocean and atmosphere, previous hurricane seasons that have similar conditions to the one being forecasted, and other factors, such as wind patterns at different levels of the atmosphere, climate change, and even the west African monsoon.

Satellite image of hurricane Irma (2017).

Hurricane Irma on September 8, 2017.

What does all this mean for us in South Florida?

Well, that’s where these forecasts become limited. Meteorologists do not yet (and may never) have the ability to say if a particular area as small as South Florida will be directly impacted for a given year. Hurricanes are a fact of life for us in South Florida, and we’ve been relatively lucky for a majority of the past 15 years. Hurricane Irma in 2017 was the most recent hurricane to have a widespread impact for us in South Florida. However, there has been plenty of concerning close calls too in the past few years. In the end whether a hurricane season is active or not doesn’t matter if the storm ends up impacting you. Hurricane Andrew (1992), which is coming up on its 30th anniversary next year, occurred in a season with only seven named storms, four of which became hurricanes, and one that was a major hurricane. And that leads us to the ever important task of all South Floridians over the next few weeks: hurricane preparation.

Hurricane Preparation is Key

What can you do? Be prepared, in advance! Have a plan in place for what you’d like to do to keep yourself, your loved ones (pets included!), and property as safe as possible. To find out more about your hurricane evacuation zone and get a refresher on emergency supplies, please visit the websites below.

Miami-Dade County:

Broward County:

Palm Beach County:

Monroe County:


Hurricane Center:

The post A is for Ana: Early Start for a Forecasted Active Hurricane Season appeared first on Frost Science.

FaviconFrost Science Teams Up to Remove Non-native Red-toothed Triggerfish 13 May 2021, 3:00 pm

Frost Science’s Marine Exotic Species Removal team successfully captured a red-toothed triggerfish in Palm Beach County. This is the first time the Indo-Pacific species has been found in Florida.

The museum uniquely partners with local divers, the U.S. Geological Survey and other partners to find and remove non-native marine fish as quickly as possible once a sighting has been reported. Non-native or exotic marine fish have a harmful impact on our coastal ecosystem and economy and should be removed whenever possible. More information about the Marine Exotic Species Removal program can be found here

Red-toothed triggerfish (scientific name: Odonus niger) can be found on tropical coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. So how did this fish make its way to our local waters? The species is common in the aquarium trade and thus it was probably a released pet. Most of these marine animals are released from home aquariums by owners that likely think they are doing the right thing, but don’t understand the dangers non-native species can pose to our ecosystem. 

Regardless of how it was introduced, a key factor in successfully removing it is speed. “It’s important to get the team in the water as rapidly as possible after a sighting is confirmed, before the fish has a chance to move away. We try to have a team in place with 24-48 hours if possible.” says Lad Akins, Frost Science’s Curator of Marine Conservation, who led the field team on May 12.

Over the years, Akins has led many efforts to capture non-native marine fishes. This time he was delighted to include Mack Hollins, who plays football for the Miami Dolphins, on the dive team. Hollins has a keen interest in education and the environment and has recently become one of the museum’s citizen scientists. “Mack is a great guy and a team player. We appreciate him pitching in to assist.” said Akins. After a brief quarantine, the fish will be rehomed at Frost Science, where it will join other non-native marine fishes removed from Florida’s coastal waters.

The red-toothed triggerfish was first seen by another sharp-eyed citizen scientist, Peter Leahy, who reported it to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) exotic species sighting program. Dr. Pam Schofield, at the US Geological Survey, coordinated communications and permissions with local officials and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Schofield documents sightings reports for non-native marine fishes at the Nonidigenous Aquatic Species database, a central clearinghouse for sightings information for aquatic non-native species. She says non-native marine fish, like lionfish, are harmful to our ecosystems and “should be thought of as another kind of pollution – a biological pollution.”


The red-toothed triggerfish is the 44th non-native marine fish species recorded for the State. So far, only a few species have established breeding populations and spread, such as the lionfish. Andy Dehart, Frost Science’s Vice President of Animal Husbandry & Marine Conservation, would like to keep it that way. Dehart says “It’s vitally important to remove non-native fish as soon as we find them. We need to take them out as soon as possible before enough individuals are introduced and a population can grow.” And if you are thinking of releasing your marine fish (or any pet), Dehart has one thing to say: “Please, don’t”.

A selection of non-native marine fishes removed from Florida’s coastal waters can be viewed at the museum’s aquarium where guests can learn about the dangers of exotic species, how to prevent their release and avoid the next marine invasive epidemic.

For more information on non-native fishes in Florida, visit USGS’s website here

The post Frost Science Teams Up to Remove Non-native Red-toothed Triggerfish appeared first on Frost Science.

StarDate Online - Your guide to the universe

FaviconMoon and Spica 19 Jun 2021, 5:00 am

Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo, hangs below the Moon as night falls. The star is 250 light-years from Earth and is moving away from us at about 2,200 miles per hour.

FaviconMoon and Spica 19 Jun 2021, 5:00 am

Every star in the night sky is moving around the galaxy in a hurry — hundreds of thousands of miles per hour. Yet the stars are so far away that it’s not easy to measure that motion.

Consider Spica, the bright star that hangs below the Moon as night falls.

Seen from here on Earth, the Moon is about half a degree wide. Now imagine cutting that small disk from top to bottom into more than 30 thousand equal slices. The amount that Spica moves across the sky in a year is the width of one slice. At Spica’s distance of 250 light-years, that works out to a speed of about 40,000 miles per hour relative to the Sun.

That sideways motion is known as proper motion. But it tells us only part of the story of Spica’s motion through space. The other part is its radial velocity — how fast it’s moving toward or away from us.

Proper motion is measured by watching how a star moves against the background of other stars. For radial velocity, though, astronomers have to take the spectrum of a star — they split its light into its individual wavelengths or colors. Those wavelengths are shifted by the star’s motion. They shift to redder wavelengths if the star is moving away from us, and bluer if it’s moving toward us.

Spica’s light is shifted toward the red. The size of that shift tells us that it’s moving away from us at about 2200 miles per hour — part of its overall motion through the galaxy.

Tomorrow: the midnight Sun.

Script by Damond Benningfield

Saturday, June 19, 2021
Plotting the motions of a bright star

FaviconJhelum Stream 18 Jun 2021, 5:05 pm

Most of the stars of the Milky Way were born here. But quite a few were born in other galaxies that were gobbled up by the Milky Way. Some of the remnants of those galaxies form long ribbons of stars, which makes them easier to find.

One of the most recent discoveries is known as the Jhelum Stream. It was discovered in 2018, by an observatory in Chile, and is named for a river in India. The stream runs across the constellation Grus, the crane, which is so far south that it’s not visible from most of the United States.

Jhelum is centered about 40,000 light-years from Earth. It’s in the Milky Way’s halo, which is far outside the galaxy’s disk. It’s hundreds of light-years long. And it appears to split into two ribbons. One is short and skinny, while the other is longer and wider. They move through space together, though, suggesting they have a common origin.

Astronomers are still trying to figure out just what that origin is. Most money says that both ribbons are remnants of a single small galaxy. It was a few million times the mass of the Sun. Although that sounds pretty heavy, it’s tiny compared to the mass of the Milky Way.

As the little galaxy approached the Milky Way, billions of years ago, it was captured by our galaxy’s powerful gravity. As it orbited the center of the galaxy, it was pulled apart. And today, its remaining stars form ribbons around the Milky Way — the remnants of a small but independent galaxy.

Script by Damond Benningfield

Friday, June 18, 2021
Looping around the Milky Way

FaviconBarnard’s Star 18 Jun 2021, 5:02 pm

The second-closest star system to our own, Barnard’s Star, is in the east-northeast at nightfall. The star is so faint, though, that without a telescope you would never know it’s there. It’s in the big constellation Ophiuchus, the serpent bearer.

FaviconStar Stream 18 Jun 2021, 6:12 am

A computer simulation shows several streamers of stars flowing outside the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy. The recently discovered Jhelum Stream is in orange. Its stars may be the remnants of a small galaxy or a star cluster that was ripped apart by the Milky Way's powerful gravity. The stream is in the Milky Way's halo, which surrounds its bright disk. [A. Price-Whelan]

ESOcast HD

ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Here we explore the Universe's ultimate frontier.

FaviconWho Turned off the Lights on Betelgeuse? (ESOcast 238 Light) 16 Jun 2021, 3:00 pm

FaviconTestbed Asteroid Hunter Sees First Light (ESOcast 237 Light) 27 Apr 2021, 10:00 am

Part of the world-wide effort to scan and identify potentially dangerous asteroids and other near-Earth objects, asteroid hunter Test-Bed Telescope 2 (TBT2), a European Space Agency telescope hosted at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, has now started operating.

FaviconESOcast 236 Light: First interstellar comet may be the most pristine ever found 30 Mar 2021, 3:00 pm

New observations with the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (ESO’s VLT) indicate that the rogue comet 2I/Borisov, which is only the second and most recently detected interstellar visitor to our Solar System, is one of the most pristine ever observed. This video summarises new findings on this mysterious alien visitor.

FaviconESOcast 235 Light: Astronomers Image Magnetic Fields at Black Hole's Edge 24 Mar 2021, 2:00 pm

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, who produced the first ever image of a black hole, has today revealed a new view of the massive object at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy: how it looks in polarised light. This is the first time astronomers have been able to measure polarisation, a signature of magnetic fields, this close to the edge of a black hole. This video summarises the discovery.

FaviconESOcast 234 Light: Most distant quasar with powerful radio jets discovered 8 Mar 2021, 1:00 pm

With the help of ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered and studied in detail the most distant source of radio emission known to date. The source is a “radio-loud” quasar — a bright object with powerful jets emitting at radio wavelengths — that is so far away its light has taken 13 billion years to reach us. This video summarises the discovery.

HD - NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

High-definition (HD) videos from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory feature the latest news on space and science findings from JPL and NASA. Topics include discoveries made by spacecraft studying planets in our solar system, including Mars, Saturn and our home planet, Earth. Missions also study stars and galaxies in our universe.

FaviconWhat's Up - August 2020 31 Jul 2020, 7:00 am

What are some skywatching highlights in August 2020? See the Moon posing with various planets throughout the month, plus catch the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower.

FaviconNASA's Perseverance Rover Launches to Mars 30 Jul 2020, 7:00 am

NASA’s Perseverance Rover began its long journey to Mars today by successfully launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a ULA Atlas V rocket.

FaviconNASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Launches With Your #CountdownToMars 30 Jul 2020, 7:00 am

To get ready for the launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, NASA invited the public to join a global, collective #CountdownToMars project.

FaviconMission Overview: NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover 27 Jul 2020, 7:00 am

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover is heading to the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life, collect samples for future return to Earth and help pave the way for human exploration.

FaviconGetting Perseverance to the Launch Pad 22 Jul 2020, 7:00 am

In February 2020, NASA’s Perseverance Rover began its long journey to Mars by first traveling across the United States.