Posts Tagged 'grand prix'

Blacktip Reef Sharks: Built for Speed

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As some of the newest residents here at the Aquarium, our 20 blacktip reef sharks have become a topic of fascination for both our guests and our staff.

To gear you up for the Grand Prix of Baltimore this week, we’re taking a closer look at how these sharks and our other fast fish friends are built for maximum speed!

blacktip reef shark

The bulk of a shark’s speed comes from the caudal (tail) fin, which provides it initial thrust by swaying back and forth, pushing water and propelling the shark forward.

The pectoral (side) fins provided the lift need for the shark to continue moving at a steady pace and counter gravity.

Finally, the blacktip reef shark’s iconically-tipped fin helps the animal steer itself. Together with the pectoral fins, it also help provide the animal stability!

In addition to its physical build, the skin of a shark helps streamline the animal’s movement and augment it’s speed through the water! Dermal denticles, backward facing, tiny tooth-like scales that cover a shark’s body, actually help them swim faster and more efficiently by reducing water resistance.

Watch our blacktip reef sharks in-action on our live Shark Cam

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Our 7-Day Pass is BACK – just in time for Grand Prix!

Our animals are ready for the Grand Prix of Baltimore, are you?! 

We’re excited to announce the return of our special 7-Day ticket, which allows guests to visit National Aquarium, Baltimore as many times as they like for seven consecutive days!

We’re providing this offer In celebration of the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT and this exciting time for our home city of Baltimore. There is so much to see at National Aquarium and the Inner Harbor – with this special National Aquarium seven-day ticket, you will have the opportunity to leisurely explore it all!

Guests visiting between Monday, August 26, and Monday, September 2, can purchase the special ticket and visit the Aquarium as many times as they like for seven consecutive days beginning with their first admission. The seven-day ticket is just one of several special offers for ticket buyers during Grand Prix week! The seven-day ticket offer is available to purchase online at aqua.org or onsite at National Aquarium, Baltimore. All tickets issued for August 26 through September 2 will be valid for seven full days. Visit aqua.org/grandprix for full rules and regulations. 

Grand Prix of Baltimore ticket holders can enjoy the additional benefit of accelerated entry by presenting their valid Grand Prix of Baltimore entry (e.g., pass, hand stamp, wristband) and a valid National Aquarium entry ticket between Friday, August 30, and Sunday, September 1. Accelerated entry enables these ticket holders to bypass the general admission line. Entry is subject to timed and maximum building capacity restrictions.

One of the many things visitors will be able to experience during their visit to Baltimore and National Aquarium is Blacktip Reef, our newest, coral-filled exhibit replicating an Indo-Pacific reef! The exhibit is active with life that you can experience from many vantage points, including a floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually come face-to-face with the 20 fast-moving blacktip reef sharks; Calypso, the 500+-pound sea turtle and more than 700 other animals!

 national aquarium blacktip reef shark

Our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef, is just one of the many things visitors will be able to experience during their visit to National Aquarium this week!

To further encourage downtown visitors, the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT will offer 10% off all adult race tickets (except Andretti Club and Kona Grill Turn 1 Club tickets) with purchase of a National Aquarium ticket through Sunday, September 1. Customers will receive a promotional code from the Aquarium that can be redeemed online via Mission Tix by entering the code on the “Promotions and Special Offers” tab or at any Grand Prix of Baltimore box office location. Code must be presented to redeem discount. For tickets and event information, visit the official event website at RaceOnBaltimore.com.

We hope to see you downtown during Grand Prix week! 

Thoughtful Thursdays: Green Innovations in Racing

In recent years, motor sport competitions have been critical to the development and advancement of energy-efficient technology. Not only is racing an internationally loved sport, making it a global platform to help introduce important technology that can reduce greenhouse gases and exhaust pollutants, but it also provides innovators the testing ground to demonstrate the durability of these improvements under the most demanding conditions.

In fact, some of the most essential green technologies used in our average cars first debuted on the race track. From transmissions that give drivers better control of their power flow, to more durable tires and the use of alternative fuels.

In addition to the eco-friendlier technological innovations that have specifically come from racing, many of the bigger series, including the American Le Mans, have encouraged the use of regenerative energy powertrains (hybrids), better control of exhaust pollution, and the use of catalytic converters as effective emission-control systems. These efforts have helped to improve air quality and better the experience for racing fans!

A green ALMS race car. The series has developed multiple models of eco-friendlier cars, including one that is completely fuelled by natural gas!

ALMS, the series running the Grand Prix of Baltimore, is considered the greenest racing series in the world. As a global leader in green racing, it’s partnered with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to create the “Green X Challenge,” a scorecard to measure the environmental performance of race cars. Scores are based on the amount of greenhouse gases emitted, petroleum consumed, and the amount of energy required to complete each race (efficiency). The ALMS has championed this challenge as a “race within a race to an energy-secure and economically vibrant future.”

These monumental changes in the sport are not only critical to the continued transition of industries to adopt environmentally friendly practices, but they also ensure that racing will continue to develop as a world-class competition to be enjoyed by millions of fans for years to come!

 

 

 

Built for Speed: How Our Fastest Fish Friends Keep Their Pace

Whether it’s racing down Pratt Street or pulsing through the open ocean on the hunt for dinner, reaching maximum speed is all about physics. Above ground, vehicles have an initial thrust from the motor to propel them forward. To build speed, the exterior of cars are designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, meaning they minimize drag and friction to not overexert the engine.

Although the Indy Cars expected at the Grand Prix of Baltimore this weekend can reach speeds of up to 230 mph, they are no match for jet engines! It’s hard to believe that all that weight and metal can soar through the air at speeds exceeding 2,000 mph. Getting a jet off the ground involves three major factors: (1) the engine provides thrust; (2) the wings provide lift to counter gravity; and (3) the aerodynamic shape cuts friction and drag.

These principles also apply to sharks and our other fast fish friends that live in the open ocean. The caudal (tail) fin provides initial thrust by swaying back and forth, pushing the water and propelling the animals forward. Like the wings of an airplane, the pectoral (side) fins give the animals the needed lift to keep them moving and counter gravity. And their smooth, streamlined bodies reduce as much friction and drag as possible!

One of our sand tiger sharks showing off its streamlined body

Sand tiger sharks are built for continuous swimming. They feed primarily on fish and need to be able to move quickly. Their big caudal fins help push them forward through the water all day without exhausting their energy. Their horizontal pectoral fins give the sharks the perfect shape to lift and stay above the ocean bottom. The pectoral fins are also critical to helping them get water over their gills so they can breathe. Unlike fish species, sharks don’t have swim bladders to keep them afloat, so it takes a lot more work to fight the drag of water molecules!

A sand tiger shark stays afloat thanks to its large pectoral (side) fins

Over time, humans have adapted to swim, and in the case of Olympian Michael Phelps, pretty quickly, but we are in no way built for it. We don’t have webbed feet, fins, or a streamlined body made for the water. Phelps, who holds the fastest swimming speed record, maxes out at just under 5 mph. Sharks, on the other hand, can hurdle toward prey at recorded swimming speeds of up to 46 mph!

Visit Seven Days for the Price of One!

Every day, amazing things happen at the National Aquarium. And now, for the first time ever, we are offering a seven-day ticket for the price of one!

Visit the National Aquarium, Baltimore, between August 27–September 3, and then return as many times as you like for seven consecutive days. No promo code is needed, and you can purchase tickets online at aqua.org and secure your preferred entry time, or at the onsite ticket center.

With more than 16,000 animals swimming, flying, hopping, and crawling in our award-winning exhibits, and amazing things happening throughout our three buildings every minute of the day, you’ll want more than one day to explore it all!

Save 10% off Tickets to the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT
Hear that sound in the distance? No, that’s not the bellowing of a breeding bullfrog at the National Aquarium. That’s the Grand Prix racing into Baltimore! Now when you purchase a National Aquarium ticket online, you will receive a promo code good for 10% off tickets to the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT. Plus, get accelerated entry to the Aquarium when you present your valid Grand Prix entry (ticket, pass, or wristband) along with your Aquarium ticket. Entry is subject to timed and maximum building capacity restrictions.


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