Biosphere 2 – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my blog about Tombstone, Arizona, we also visited Biosphere 2 during that same weekend. Biosphere 2 is located in Oracle, Arizona, northeast of Tucson. I can remember reading about it in the early 90’s when the self-contained environmental system had the first group of humans (8) close themselves into the facility for two years (1901 – 1993). A second experiment of locking humans into the facility lasted from March to September of 1994. The original concept was to see the viability of an enclosed eco system for colonization in space. It is now fully owned by the University of Arizona where it is used for research, outreach, teaching and life long learning about Earth, its living systems, etc…Earth being Biosphere 1. That’s the quick run through, for more information: Biosphere 2 (Wikipedia).

I have attached 10 shots from the afternoon to give you an overall perspective of the complex (it is so worth a visit if any of your travels take you to Arizona).


The first picture is the view coming in from what I would call the campus (the campus is the entry point to the complex with a museum, restaurant and student housing). Notice the green of the glass…that’s all of the leaves from the plants in the “rain forest” ecosystem. I left my lovely wife’s head in the shot to give you a perspective of just how massive this structure really is and this is only part of many ecosystems and structures on the grounds.

Biosphere 1

Biosphere 1


The next capture is taken from the same perspective as the first, but just turning slightly left gives you a perspective of the topography of this part of the desert.

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2


Picture number three is still from the same spot, but turning slightly to my right, which is the complex we were headed to for our tour.

Biosphere 3

Biosphere 3


The 4th shot, still from the same spot on the stairs, zooms in on the part of the complex we were headed to. I included it, because it shows one of the “lungs” of the eco systems. The white dome building is one of the lungs that support the equalization of air pressure within the enclosed environments. As temperatures change throughout the day, air pressure changes with the varying temperature….the lungs take in air from the enclosed environment and release air to them to keep the glass buildings from exploding with such changes. Located under the white dome is a flexible structure that covers a large pool of water…the ceiling of that structure rises and falls with the exchange. Touring the lung, takes you through a wind tunnel that is incredible powerful…this was a hold on to anything loose part of the tour.

Biosphere 4

Biosphere 4


The 5th picture shows the location where we started our tour. You get a better feel for the size of this structure when you see that door at the bottom left. The inhabitants that were part of the initial experiment had their living quarters in this structure. The quarters shared a large community kitchen and each had their own studio apartment with views into environments you see behind the white building (the three arched glass structures).

Biosphere 5

Biosphere 5


Capture number 6 shows you our entrance into the rain forest. Air locks are in place between ecosystem. Look how dense the growth is…

Biosphere 6

Biosphere 6


…and the 7th shot gives you even more of the concept. You see when you are inside how all of the tall plants press up against the glass roof creating the canopy of the forest.

Biosphere 7

Biosphere 7


Number 8 is in the coastal ecosystem. It actually supports a live reef and marine life. There is also a wave machine you can see and hear from this perspective to keep the environment true to coastal San Diego where the water and life came from. From this overlook, you can see back to the green glass housing the rain forest. I kept this gentleman’s head in the photo to give you a perspective again of the sheer size of this structure.

Biosphere 8

Biosphere 8


Picture 9 took us into a different structure where you can see a semi–arid ecosystem supporting grasslands.

Biosphere 9

Biosphere 9


The last shot is from a section of an arid desert ecosystem where the University was having students test hydroponics. The area had been cleared of plant life to make room for the experiments. This afforded me a shot looking out of the structures…notice in the background, a lung and also the rainforest across the way

Biosphere 10

Biosphere 10


As you tour this incredible complex, your mind is overwhelmed with the complexity of the engineering and the amount of detailed thought that went into the original design. Thoughts?


Please visit my main gallery: TheWallGallery (All domestic orders over $60.00 – free shipping!)

Follow my work:

Facebook: TheWallGallery by Kirt Tisdale. (Page likes are always appreciated!)

Google+: TheWallGallery

Twitter: KirtWallGallery

Instagram: Kirttisdale

Tsu: KirtWallGallery

 

 

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “Biosphere 2 – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

  1. Sue Slaght

    Kirt I have to say it almost feels like something from science fiction. amazing to think that such a closed ecosystem can be created. I’m afraid I wouldn’t do very well being in there for months on end.

    Reply
  2. Writing to Freedom

    Thanks for a great tour Kirt. 🙂 I was intrigued when I first read about the biosphere, but hadn’t seen such good pictures and details of the experiment. Looks like a very fancy greenhouse! 🙂

    Reply
    1. reocochran

      Not sure if your blog or you will recognize me with the extra reo added to my name? I am not sure how this got through but I will tell you the same comment over again, to insure your receiving this, Kirt.
      This was an amazing experience to share with us, Kirt. I would love to be there in person, but who better to be our guide? Smiles, Robin

      Reply
  3. reocochran

    Hmmm, I will try this a third time, Kirt. Maybe I am awaiting approval? I loved this post because the Biosphere project just seems wonderful and special to allow us to foresee a future where we may live in a big “bubble.” I enjoyed all the amazing photos, which you are a great tour guide, Kirt! Smiles, Robin
    If my like doesn’t come through it is probably because I am at the public library! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Got it and thank you!! It is a mind blowing facility to tour white all of the incredible engineering! I so remember reading about it in the 90’s and never thought I would actually see it! So glad I did!! Thanks as always for stopping by and for your support….it is very much appreciated!

      Reply
  4. Linda Arthur Tejera

    I remember going to the first Biosphere but it’s been so long ago, I barely remember much about it. It certainly wasn’t as elaborate as it is now. I remember hearing “rumors” of problems at the time and then it shut down shortly after that. I hadn’t kept up with it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      Thank you for the share….I remember it from the 90’s and then didn’t give it another thought until we moved here. Incredible feat of engineering…thanks for stopping by Teagan!!

      Reply
  5. Jet Eliot

    I enjoyed your photos and description of the biosphere, Kirt. I am amazed at how dense some of the plant growth became. I can’t make it through a day without getting outside, even in winter; and would not make a good candidate for this experiment. I had forgotten about this project, was glad to see it here.

    Reply
    1. Kirt D Tisdale Post author

      I’m with you…I need to get outside on a daily basis….Thanks for the feedback, Jet…it really is an amazing facility and I am glad the University of Arizona bought it and uses it for learning and understanding this incredible planet we are all fortunate enough to call home!!

      Reply
  6. Joyful2bee

    Wow! What an amazing experience and what a mind boggling place to visit. Totally amazing!! I thought the pictures were gorgeous and did convey some of the complexity of the project. Thank you for sharing these with us.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s