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All GAM 2011 Programs

April 17, 2011sunday

SunDay, on Sunday April 17th, is a day dedicated to our star, the Sun.  The Sun is the main source of energy for Earth.  As each part of the globe rotates daily into the Sun’s warm and cheering glow, darkness is removed and our world is energized.

SunDay is a project intended to raise people’s awareness of our star.  What is it?  How does it affect us?  The different layers of the Sun, solar activity (sunspots, flares, prominences, coronal mass ejections and the solar wind), space weather, energy production, helioseismology—these are all different aspects of the Sun waiting to be discovered and understood.

SunDay activities you can organize and take part in range from simple to complex, giving participants a wide choice that allows even those who can’t afford an expensive telescope to learn and teach something new about our star.  In planning your own Sun Day activities, start with the suggestions below and then use your creative imagination! SunDay Suggested Activities:

  • Observing by projection (pinhole method or using binoculars/telescope).
  • Observing without magnification (using solar filters, like high density polymers or welding goggles).
  • Observing with binoculars and telescopes that have solar & narrowband filters (like H-alpha).
  • Rainbow Sun (solar spectrograph construction and “What is the solar spectrum?”)
  • Sun goggles construction.
  • Cooking with the Sun (solar oven construction).
  • 1R (One Rotation) (month-long sunspot observation, to determine solar rotation period and, if possible, to assess differential rotation).
  • Active Sun (compare your visual observations with other wavelengths, utilizing live images from solar observatories like SOHO/BBSO/Hinode…).
  • What if it’s raining?  Be ready for an indoor program with a presentation of “The Sun: Our Nearest Star” from Galilean Nights (available in English, French and Portuguese).


SunDay Resources:

For a comprehensive list of downloadable solar resources - see the GAM2011 Useful Links page
Rainbow Sun - Solar spectrograph construction instructions.
Sun Goggles - Construction instructions.
IR one month - Month long sunspot observation to determine solar rotation period and if possible, to assess differential rotation.
Sundial for GAM 2011 - Construction instructions.

Contact: Ricardo Cardoso Reis