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Earth’s Blanket is a chemistry-themed series of six interactive sculptures that represent important small molecules: water, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and freon-12. These molecules are the most abundant greenhouse gases on earth. Animated color sequences show the electrostatic charge distribution on the surface of each molecule – showing each molecule as it looks to other molecules.

The colorful, led lit molecules are arranged around the Colorado State University Chemistry Building and Science Quad in an array that invites exploration and socialization. During the day, the acrylic spheres that make up the molecules will pick up sunlight and glow softly. At night, vibrantly colored lights will illuminate the spheres from the interior creating a spectacular sight upon entering the space.

The sculpture is composed of a powder-coated stainless steel and aluminum support structure, illuminated acrylic hemispheres and custom electronics.




Colorado State University Science Quad, Fort Collins, CO


spheres range from 5’ x 5’ x 3’ to 7’ x 8’ 4’


steel, acrylic, LED lighting, electronics

Commissioning Agency: 

Colorado State University


Joe O'Connell

Earth's Blanket

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