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Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge

Sun-Earth Day Presents: Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge

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Event Dates and Times

It's Not Too Late!

You can still enjoy the December 21st archived webcast, Chaco Canyon (Live from the Exploratorium) !

The Ancient Observatory theme for 2005 will feature solar alignments with structures that mark the equinoxes and/or solstices. In partnership with the Exploratorium, Ideum, and NASA Connect, NASA's Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum will produce video and webcast programming that will be shared with formal and informal education audiences nationally. The programs will feature several sites including: Chaco Canyon (New Mexico), Hovenweep (Utah), and Chichen Itza (Mexico). Many of these sites present unique opportunities to develop authentic cultural connections to Native Americans, highlighting the importance of the Sun across the ages. We will involve Sun-Earth Connection scientists, their missions, and research programs to share NASA solar research with diverse audiences.

Below is more specific information about the webcasts and broadcasts Be sure to revisit this page for continued updates prior to each event.

On-line Events:

Title: Solar Week
Featured Location: In Your Classroom
Dates: February 28 - March 4, 2005

Solar Week is a week of on-line curriculum, focusing on the Sun-Earth Connection, a collection of games, lessons and activities focusing on the Sun-Earth Connection and aimed at middle and high school students. Originating in 2000 as a daughter-site to the successful Yohkoh Public Outreach Project, Solar Week is now a success in its own right with over 20,000 students participating since its inception. A specific goal of Solar Week is to encourage middle-school girls to pursue science, but students of both genders will enjoy interacting on-line with solar physicists acting as role models and mentors. All of the scientists participating in Solar Week are women and a key topic is careers in science. Participating students learn about the Sun-Earth interaction via a series of daily topics and through an online Q&A session with the scientists. Solar Week, now a joint project of SECEF and Rice University, occurs bi-annually with the next installment scheduled for February 28 - March 4, 2005.



Title: Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge
Starts Airing: Thursday, March 17, 2005, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m. ET
NASA LIVE Event: Friday, April 22, 2005

With the use of technology (ancient, modern, and future), NASA scientists and astronomers will investigate how ancient civilizations worked to unlock the secrets of the Sun. Through the power of geometry, learn how light was used to provide a means of investigating the universe.

Mathematics concepts: Geometry
Science concepts: Space Science, History and Nature of Science
NASA Research: Sun-Earth Connection



Title: Ancient Observatories: Live from Chichen Itza
Featured Location: Chichen Itza, Mexico
Air Time: March 20, 2005

5:00pm (ET) English Educational Program
5:45pm (ET) Observation of Alignment (in both Spanish and English)
6:00pm (ET) Spanish Educational Program

Join us in our celebration of the spring equinox! Today the day and night are of equal length marking the end of Winter and the begining of Spring. Like many ancient cultures, it is believed that the Mayans in Southern Mexico built solar alignments into their buildings to help mark auspicous days. Thousands of people will gather at a site called Chichen Itza, to witness one of these alignments: the appearance of a shadow, in the form of a serpent, that will descend the main staircase of the great pyramid. We will provide a live feed from this site and talk to local scientists about the significance of this incredible event.

This progam will be available live on the internet (including Internet-2) and via commercial satellite (transponders will be posted soon for C-band dishes.)

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