National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Goddard Space Flight Center

Sun-Earth Day 2010: Ancient Mysteries, Future Discoveries


Celebrate Sun-Earth Day on March 19, 2011

Student hands wearing solar beads.

Figure 1: Students wearing solar beads on Sun-Earth Day.

Sun-Earth Day is comprised of a series of programs and events that occur throughout the year culminating with a celebration on or near the Spring Equinox. Each year we wrap a fresh new thematic approach around Sun-Earth science while highlighting Sun-Earth Connection scientists, their missions, and research. This year's theme , 'Ancient Mysteries-Future Discoveries', opens the door to a much deeper understanding of our Sun and its impact across the ages.

The Sun-Earth Day Strategy:

Over the past eleven years, the Sun-Earth Day Team has coordinated education and public outreach events that highlight NASA Sun-Earth Connection research and discoveries. The team's strategy involves using celestial events, such as total solar eclipses and the Transit of Venus, as well as Sun-Earth Day during the March equinox, to engage K-12 schools and the public in space science activities, demonstrations, and interactions with space scientists.

Live Webcast:

Student hands wearing solar beads.

In partnership with NASA EDGE, the Sun-Earth Day team will produce video and webcast programming that will be shared with formal and informal education audiences worldwide. The programs will highlight several sites including: Chaco Canyon (New Mexico), Hovenweep (Utah), Chichen Itza (Mexico), Cahokia Mounds (Illinois), and Sunspot (New 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 scientists, their missions, and research programs to share NASA heliophysics research with diverse audiences.

The award winning NASA EDGE team is known for their offbeat, funny and informative look behind the NASA curtain. Their guests include scientists, educators and students who will! If you've ever wanted to learn about NASA but thought you needed to be a rocket scientist, wait no longer!

Sun-Earth Day Resources:

In collaboration with partners that include science centers and museums around the world, Sun-Earth Connection missions, NASA Edge, NSTA and others, we produce webcasts, other multi-media, and print resources for use by school and informal educators nation-wide and internationally. We provide training and professional development to K-12 educators, museum personnel, amateur astronomers, Girl Scout leaders, etc., so they can implement their own outreach programs taking advantage of our resources. A coordinated approach promotes multiple programs occurring each year under a common theme.

Register to receive a monthly update from us about Sun-Earth Day events.


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!