Earth to Raleigh: Getting to the core of downtown's massive globe

Thursday, March 12, 2020
All about the giant earth in downtown Raleigh
So what's inside the huge structure on W. Jones St.?

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Why is there a giant earth in downtown Raleigh and what's inside?

We wondered the same thing too, so we made a call and got a few answers.

At about 5 stories tall and 70 feet at the widest point, this downtown Raleigh structure off W. Jones St. is near to scale when it comes to its muse - Earth.

"It happens to be the second-largest earth on earth," Chris Smith, Curator of the Daily Planet Theater at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences declared.

Inside the structure is the Daily Planet Theater.

No, this isn't where Clark Kent digs into hard-hitting stories. Despite no Superman, the work inside the globe is nothing short of heroic.

"The Daily Planet gets its name because we wanted a space here in the museum of natural sciences where we could connect science to people's daily lives," said Smith.

A 40-foot screen stretches around the globe with three stories of lights, giant speakers, and six projectors that blend to create a single image on the screen.

On stage every Wednesday around noon you'll find a show underway. On Saturdays, Chris himself takes to the stage dazzling the audience with science and experiments.

The globe itself a bit of an experiment.

"The globe itself is counterbalanced by the nature research center building in the museum. So if you're out on the sidewalk you can actually look underneath the globe, it's floating above the ground so you can see Antarctica plastered underneath." Smith said.

This weekend, the museum was supposed to host a Reptile and Amphibian Day. That event has been delayed out of precaution of COVID-19.

The museum is free to check out. Special events can be found here.