Sun-Earth Day 2009 Web Site

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Check out the Space Weather Media Viewer, the Technology Through Time Series and a wealth of activities, information, and materials on the Sun-Earth Day 2009 web site.

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Solar Week Web Site

image with five smaller images representing the 5 days of Solar Week.

Once every fall and spring since 2000, Solar Week provides a week-long series of web-based educational classroom activities and games geared for upper-elementary, middle and high school students, with a focus on the Sun-Earth connection.

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Make and Take Activities

    image of a person holding a pizza with her outstretched right arm. Scale Model of Sun and Earth
    This activity explores the relative size of Sun and Earth as well as the distance between them.
    > Download Activity (pdf - 500 KB)
    > Spanish Version (pdf - 500 KB)


    image of a flat cookie that has m&ms representing sun spots and red licorice representing solar flares. Edible Model of the Sun
    The Sun is a dynamic and active star. If you look at it with a telescope, or even with a pin-hole camera or special eclipse-glasses, you can see features on the sun that are moving and changing. (Remember you should never look directly at the sun!) Participants will make an edible model of the Sun's outer layers using cookies and toppings.
    > Download Activity (pdf - 130 KB)


    the back of a man looking at a wall with two dark shadows and an outline of a shadow on it. Changing Shadows
    Participants observe changes in shadows over time. The activity also helps to develop a sense of the Earth's motion. Since this activity requires some passage of time for a noticeable change in shadows, it is best done at the beginning of an event or a series of activities so participants can revisit their tracings after a period of time. At museum or planetarium settings, this might be a good activity to set up at the entrance for visitors to do at the beginning and end of their visit.
    > Download Activity (pdf - 290 KB)


    two open hands, each holding a bead that changes color when exposed to ultraviolet light, with one hand also holding a pair of eyeglasses over the bead. Exploring Ultraviolet (UV) light from the Sun
    The Sun gives off different kinds of energy: including heat, visible light, and invisible light in the form of ultraviolet (UV) rays. While the Earth's atmosphere protects us from most of the Sun's harmful UV rays, there is still an abundance of UV rays around us. This activity explores UV rays from the Sun and ways we can protect ourselves from these potentially harmful UV rays.
    > Download Activity (pdf - 290 KB)


    drawing of a rectangular magnet with magnetic field lines pointing from the north part of the magnet to the south part. Exploring Magnetic Field Lines
    When discussing space weather or how Earth's magnetosphere protects us, we often see diagrams with lines wrapping around the globe. What are these lines? Can we see these lines if we were in space looking back at Earth? This activity lets us explore the magnetic field of a bar magnet and serves as a good introduction to understanding Earth's magnetic field. It is also a good way to demonstrate why prominences are always "loops".
    > Download Activity (pdf - 290 KB)


    A hand holding a golf ball representing the moon in front of an image of the sun where both objects appear to be the same size. Eclipse: How can the little Moon hide the giant Sun?
    Although this activity isn't a "make and take", it offers great hands-on exploration of how distance can affect the way we perceive the size of an object. It makes a good introduction to solar eclipse as well as Sun and Moon's sizes and distances from Earth. The idea behind this activity is very simple and the activity itself is easy to do, making it accessible even for young kids.
    >Download Activity (pdf - 230 KB)


    picture of a thumb next to a stop sigh where both look the same size. Experiencing Parallax
    Parallax is used to measure distances to stars and planets in the solar system. You can see the parallax effect in action by holding your thumb out at arm's length and following simple instructions appropriate for all ages.
    > Download Activity (pdf - 110 KB)

More Make and Take Activities


    completed paper model of HESSI HESSI Paper Model
    The High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager was launched in 2002 to study solar flares. This document shows how to create a paper model of the spacecraft
    > Download Activity (pdf - 1 MB)


      image of the TRACE satellite TRACE Paper Model
    The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer was launched in 1998 to image the solar corona. This document shows how to create a paper model of the spacecraft
    > Download Activity (pdf - 424 KB)
    image of a sundial Make Your Own Sundial
    Construct a model sundial from paper. After this activity you will know the design, principle and orientation of a sundial, the type with a gnomon pointing towards the pole of the heavens
    > Download Activity (pdf - 47 KB)
      image of a sundial Sunshine in your pocket! Making a sundial for the Northern hemisphere
    After completing the activities on these pages you will be able to make a necklace or keychain horizontal sundial. These sundials are fun, portable, and inexpensive. A complete necklace can cost as little as 30 cents! They make a terrific classroom activity for students of all ages, and also make wonderful gifts.
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