Solar Week: Home

Classroom and after-school activities about the Sun-Earth connection: Mar 23-27, 2020
sun in black spaceclose up of sunspots on sunsolar flareeclipsewoman in front of large telescope
Monday - The Sun As a Star
Tuesday - Solar Close-Ups
Wednesday- The Active Sun
Thursday - The Sky Above: Earth's Upper Atmosphere
Friday - Solar Careers, Internships and Opportunities

Registration buttonSolar Week, a week of online lessons, games and hands-on activities about the Sun for grades 5-9 or ages 9-14, happens twice a year, approximately mid-to-late March and mid-to-late October. [Daily Lessons, Games and Activities are available all year; "Ask a Question" has archived answers only until LIVE during Solar Week. Post a question to leading solar scientists during that week.] Spring 2020 takes place March 23-27.

floating question marksDuring Solar Week, your group or class can post a question for our solar scientists to answer!

The way to post a question is to go to the MESSAGE BOARD and then click on the area in which you are interested, for example, "Facts About the Sun" or "Being or Becoming a Scientist" and then you will see a button that says "Write a New Post." You will be Anonymous unless you choose to give your name or affiliation.

You may want to Meet the Scientists who will be answering your questions.


Cover of NY Times showing close-up of the Sun by the Inouye Telescope (DKIST) and this spring's LIVE webinar topic

Spring 2020: Solar Week will take place March 23-27. During this time, you'll be able to ask scientists your questions about the Sun, solar events, solar energy, and NASA solar missions.

Great news -- Spring's live webinar will take place during that week (time and date coming very soon - check this space).

Our live presenter will be: Dr. Claire Raftery of the National Solar Observatory:  

Caramel Corn or the Sun: What is behind the best picture of the Sun we’ve ever taken!

The NSF’s Inouye Solar Telescope recently took the best image of the Sun’s surface that has ever been taken. This telescope is an engineering marvel, focusing enough energy to boil a pot of water in three seconds onto a spot the size of a quarter in order to bring us the most detailed pictures of our local star. We’ll look at how the telescope works, and some of its science goals, as well as dissecting just what the new images are showing us.

Previous Webinars

Dr. Holly Gilbert of NASA is the solar scientist who did Solar Week's fall 2019 LIVE WEBINAR - her presentation, "Touching the Sun—a new age for solar science" took place on Friday, October 25th at 12 noon ET (9 AM PT). The link to the archived webinar is above, or watch on YouTube here.

The Spring 2019 Solar Week live webinar took place on March 21 with NASA's Dr. Liz MacDonald talking about Aurora Citizen Science and the Power of the Crowd. Watch it above or on YouTube -

What are the Northern Lights and how do you know when is the best time to see them? How can you (YES, you) make contributions to NASA science? You will be introduced to the beautiful basics of the physics that cause the aurora borealis, how you can participate, and how scientists are using both satellite data and information from the public to figure out where and when they are best seen. We’ll discuss new technology, as well as well as learn about the Sun, magnetic fields, and plasma glitter (!) by putting the Northern Lights in the spotlight. From this example, we can see how everyone can contribute, and how new discoveries can be made in that process.

Dr Liz MacDonald is a space physicist who works at NASA. Liz has been studying the glitter of the Northern Lights for 20+ years, and it never ceases to amaze her. In addition to doing citizen science and outreach, Liz does some amazing high-tech space physics. She has also led teams that build instruments to measure charged particles in the space environment for NASA and DOE satellite and rocket missions. She is the founder of the first citizen science project about the Northern Lights called Aurorasaurus. In 2018 her project published a landmark new study documenting the origin of a newly recognized type of aurora called STEVE. She will tell you this story too. Outside of work, she enjoys skiing, hiking, and poetry.

Oct. 25, 2018  Space weather scientist, Dr Yari Collado-Vega did a live youth-oriented webinar today and answered Solar Week questions! You can find the recording of the webinar here:

Oct. 2, 2018 - Educators, the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory is looking for some feedback to help us improve our NASA-funded educational programs, including Solar Week. Please take a few minutes to fill out our survey: - Thank you, and we look forward to your responses!

Mar. 20, 2018 -The Project Scientist for Parker Solar Probes, Dr. Nicky Fox, visited Solar Week in a live webinar to talk about this mission to the Sun!

Webinar is now archived on our YouTube channel:

We have some brand new videos, featuring past and present Solar Week scientists and others who study the Sun!

Fill out our survey, we'd love your feedback on Solar Week! It really helps us to make improvements. Pick Teacher/Group Leader questionnaire  or Student/Participants questionnaire.

Are you an out-of-school-time group leader, teacher or home schooler? Find activities by science standards, age range, materials etc. at NASA Wavelength.

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