October 2023 through September 2024 is NASA's Big Year of Heliophysics.
In the vast expanse of our solar system, where the Sun reigns supreme, a remarkable event is underway that invites us all to look skyward and celebrate our nearest star. It's called the Heliophysics Big Year, and it promises a year filled with solar science, citizen participation, and an array of engaging activities to connect us with the wonders of the Sun.
What is Heliophysics?
Heliophysics is the branch of science that delves into the intricate study of our Sun and its interactions with everything in our solar system. From solar flares to the solar wind that sweeps through space, from sunspots to the auroras that light up our polar skies, heliophysics is the science of understanding the Sun's influence on the cosmos.
What is a Big Year?
The bird-watching community first popularized the concept of a "Big Year." In a Big Year, birders embark on a quest to observe and study as many bird species as possible within a calendar year. Inspired by this spirit of exploration and discovery, the Heliophysics Big Year challenges us all to do the same but with a celestial twist – focusing on our Sun.
Embracing the Heliophysics Big Year
During the Heliophysics Big Year, participants are encouraged to immerse themselves in the captivating world of solar science. The event offers a plethora of activities, ranging from watching solar eclipses and experiencing the mesmerizing auroras to actively participating in citizen science projects and engaging in other delightful Sun-related endeavors.
Inclusivity Beyond NASA
One of the most exciting aspects of the Heliophysics Big Year is its inclusivity. While spearheaded by NASA, this cosmic celebration extends an open invitation to individuals, groups, and organizations worldwide that share a passion for heliophysics' science, art, and beauty. The aim is to unite the entire heliophysics community under a unified banner.
Featured Activity: How to Host A Sun Party
One of the standout ways to immerse yourself in the Heliophysics Big Year is by hosting a "Sun Party." These gatherings offer a fun and educational way to celebrate the Sun. During a Sun Party, participants can safely observe and appreciate our star while engaging in creative activities and games. It's an opportunity to combine learning with enjoyment, making the study of the Sun accessible and exciting for all.
As the Heliophysics Big Year unfolds, there has never been a better time to explore the celestial marvels surrounding us. Whether you're an aspiring scientist, a casual stargazer, or someone simply curious about the cosmos, this event welcomes you to participate and share in the awe-inspiring beauty of our Sun.
So, mark your calendars and join the global heliophysics community in this remarkable adventure. Whether counting bird species or studying the Sun's secrets, the Heliophysics Big Year offers a chance to connect with the universe's wonders from your backyard. Let's embark on this cosmic journey together!
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LAST UPDATED:Oct 18, 2023
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