March 18, 2009
PASADENA, Calif. – NASA scientists will reveal new information and images about our sun and its influence on Earth and the solar system for Sun-Earth Day, recognized each year in conjunction with the spring equinox. The highlight of this year's celebration is a webcast for students and teachers around the world, beginning at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT), Friday, March 20.
This year's theme, "Our Sun, Yours to Discover," celebrates the International Year of Astronomy and emphasizes daytime astronomy. During the live, interactive event, participants from around the world and NASA scientists will share new discoveries and visualizations about our sun. Participating students will have the opportunity to demonstrate personally designed sundials, while others will be monitoring the sun and preparing their own space weather forecast.
"Tremendous strides have been made with satellite and ground-based observations of the sun, which have enabled us to monitor the sun to gain a better understanding of the processes that govern its influence on our solar system," said Eric Christian, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
Sun-Earth Day is a celebration of the sun and how it affects life on our planet and the space around Earth, known as geospace. For the past nine years, NASA has sponsored and coordinated education and public outreach events for Sun-Earth Day that highlight NASA heliophysics research and discoveries. NASA's goal is to use celestial events to engage the public and students in kindergarten through 12th grade via webcasts, podcasts, space science activities, demonstrations and interactions with space scientists.
"These events also support the spirit of international collaboration," said Lou Mayo, project manager at Goddard for Sun-Earth Day 2009. "We are excited about sharing the latest discoveries about our sun and encourage others to join our quest for a greater understanding of our closest star."
Goddard is producing the Sun-Earth Day webcast. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the Adler Planetarium in Chicago also are participating in the broadcast. NASA Television and the agency's Web site will broadcast the event live.
For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.
For more information about Sun-Earth Day, visit: http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2009/index.php .
For more information about NASA's Education programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education .
JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Media Contact: DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Sonja Alexander 202-358-1761
NASA Headquarters, Washington
Dewayne Washington 301-286-0040
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.