Heliospheric Physics Laboratory
Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

HPL Education and Public Outreach

HPL Education and Public Outreach

Sun-Earth Days 2001-2012

The NASA Sun-Earth Days team has a world-wide reach of millions annually. Our focus continues to use high leverage events to excite, engage, and educate millions in NASA Mission science. Each year a new theme is used to hook and expand interest in Heliophysics and the effects of the Sun on the Solar System. Sun-Earth Days themes included: 2001-Having a Solar Blast, 2002-Celebrating the Equinox, 2003-Live From the Aurora-2004 Venus Transit-2005 Ancient Observatories Timeless Knowledge-2006 Eclipse In a Different Light-2007 Living in the Atmosphere of the Sun-2008 Space Weather Around the World- 2009 Our Sun Yours to Discover-2010 Magnetic Storms-2011 Ancient Mysteries Future Discoveries.

Transit of Venus

In 2011 our team partnered with NASA EDGE located at NASA Langley to provide an exciting social media event and webcast from NASA Goddard. 28 countries including the USA reported 41,00 events reaching an estimated 1.1 million persons. There were 300,000 downloads of the webcast with this estimated audience of 3 million. In 2012 the team focused on Shadows of the Sun. Our effort was a focus on the Transit of Venus with a webcast from Mauna Kea, followed by a watchful eye on the eclipse in November with partners in Australia. Our team engaged the public with NASA resources about the Transit of Venus, eclipses and related science concepts. We worked with partners who also engaged the public with Venus Transit events (e.g., Astronomers Without Borders, Science Centers, Planetaria, Amateur Astronomers, formal education community, American Camp Association) Mission Partners-SDO, STEREO, RBSP, MMS, IBEX, RHESSI, MSL,LRO, DAWN, CINDI.

Summary of the Event with an estimated 500 million observers.
  • 380 million web hits
  • 1 million webstreams
  • 157 countries recorded participation
  • 1 million global events
  • 14,000 educators reaching 1.5 million students
  • 10,000 Amateur Astronomers participated
  • Facebook Fans Page at highest reach 302,000
  • Twitter NASA impressions- 29 million
  • Tweets/Retweets through hashtracking.com 75 million

In November 2012 as part of the Shadows of the Sun theme our partner in Australia provided a webcast which resulted in 900,000 downloads. Heliophysics scientist from Stanford through the efforts of Deborah Scherer provided the science content. We have developed a large network of world –wide partners making it possible to coordinate and support many celestial events without being in a location to do the actual observation and web cast.

Space Weather Action Center

Space Weather Action Center (SWAC)

Since we are nearing Solar Maximum we are featuring the Space Weather Action Center an education tool that allows students to use Heliophysics data to complete their own data analysis and observe an active Sun. SDO, SoHO, Stereo, Hinode, ACE and a ground based observatory are on the Space Weather Media Viewer, the location for students to see the near real time data for their research. The Space Weather Media Viewer has been up graded to include the SDO images and has been developed as an APP for Apple and Droid. It was used to look at the transit through the images provided through the SDO mission RHESSI data, Wind, POES, TIMED and Polar data are also included in the Space Weather Data section of SWAC. Currently 3000 classrooms and the Challenger Center network use SWAC and the Space Weather Media Viewer.