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Opportunities for Eclipse-Related Outreach Using an Ancient & Modern Sun Watching Theme

Presentation #118.02 in the session Solar and Atmospheric Science with Eclipses — Poster Session.

Published onOct 20, 2022
Opportunities for Eclipse-Related Outreach Using an Ancient & Modern Sun Watching Theme

The NASA PUNCH mission is a Small Explorer that will be uniquely capable of tracking space weather features from the Sun’s corona all the way to Earth orbit. The Outreach Program embedded in the Small Explorer mission engages PUNCH scientists (and other interested heliophysicists) in partnership with five planetariums and science centers plus other multi-cultural partners to activate an Ancient & Modern Sun Watching theme. Our theme allows NASA heliophysics to become more personally and culturally relevant for historically marginalized populations in the US Southwest and beyond. The theme has three important dimensions: 1) PUNCH and other NASA Heliophysics missions studying the corona we can see during a total solar eclipse; 2) Ancient Sun-Watching as exemplified in Chaco Canyon — a World Heritage site in remote northwestern New Mexico; and 3) Personal Sun Watching in contemporary times. Chaco is home to a unique petroglyph that may be a representation of an active solar corona during a total solar eclipse. This eclipse occurred in 1097 during the prime of Chaco occupation and during a time of solar maximum more than 700 years prior to the 1860 hand drawings that are often cited with the distinction of being first. This presentation describes our thematic approach to outreach in greater detail and summarizes the exciting suite of multi-sensory, multicultural products that will be available to the broader community in time for use with the upcoming annual and total solar eclipses. We are designing these resources to be valuable in an enduring way beyond the next few years of eclipses and high solar activity.

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