2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. Throughout the year, people, organizations, and governments from all over the world are mounting a coordinated effort to celebrate and give tribute to our understanding of the universe and the many accomplishments and findings of astronomy. You can help. Our goal is simple - have everyone on the planet look through a telescope.
For Sun Earth Day 2009, we have chosen as our theme: "Our Sun: Yours to Discover" and herein lies our 2009 observing challenge. We want to encourage as many people as possible to observe our very own star, the sun - through pin hole cameras and other projection techniques, white light solar filter outfitted telescopes, hydrogen alpha, calcium K line, what ever it takes. You can help by holding star/sun parties, family astronomy days, and public gatherings of your choosing and then counting the number of people who actually view the sun through a telescope or projection device. You can then send in information about your event or events and give us the observing count. We will post the running sum on our web site. You or your club can earn a Sun Earth Day 2009 NASA Observing Challenge certificate for your efforts.
You can do this over a period of months and over a number of public events. Once you send in your information, you can see how you have added to our world total !
So, if you're up to the challenge, let's get going - only 6,727,052,502 people to go!!
The most powerful solar flare in the last 500 years occurred on September 2, 1859 and was sighted by two astronomers who happened to be looking at the sun at exactly the right time!