The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.
Some more pics after the jump.
“The New Year’s Eve ball is bigger, better and brighter than ever, just like Times Square itself,” said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. “And like Times Square, it’s not afraid to show off. That’s why we’re proudly putting it on display year-round so visitors to the neighborhood can enjoy a true Crossroads of the World icon.”
New Year’s Eve Ball, 1978. Photo credit: The New York Times.
The actual notion of a ball “dropping” to signal the passage of time dates back long before New Year’s Eve was ever celebrated in Times Square. The first “time-ball” was installed atop England’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. This ball would drop at one o’clock every afternoon, allowing the captains of nearby ships to precisely set their chronometers (a vital navigational instrument).
Around 150 public time-balls are believed to have been installed around the world after the success at Greenwich, though few survive and still work. The tradition is carried on today in places like the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where a time-ball descends from a flagpole at noon each day – and of course, once a year in Times Square, where it marks the stroke of midnight not for a few ships’ captains, but for over one billion people watching worldwide.
New Year’s Eve Ball, 2000-2007.
All the best in 2009.