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Fw: MARCH 20 IS NATIONAL SUN-EARTH CONNECTION AWARENESS DAY



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC


Dolores Beasley
Headquarters, Washington            March 18, 2002
(Phone: 202/358-1753)

Mark Hess
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
(Phone: 301/286-8982)

RELEASE: 02-57

MARCH 20 IS NATIONAL SUN-EARTH CONNECTION AWARENESS DAY

     The second annual Sun-Earth Day will "Celebrate the 
Equinox" on March 20 with programs and activities at NASA 
Centers and a two-hour televised webcast featuring 
discussions on the Sun's connection to the Earth through 
images, cultural parallels and activities that Native 
Americans have used to share Sun-Earth science through 
several generations. 

Groups in classrooms, museums, shopping malls, planetariums 
and auditoriums around the world will participate in Sun-
Earth Day -- a celebration of the Sun, the space around the 
Earth (geospace) and how both affect life on the planet. 

Nearly every NASA Center and NASA Educator Resource Center 
has planned an event for science teachers and students or for 
the public in conjunction with Sun-Earth Day. Specifically, 
more than 4,500 science teachers have been invited to 
education workshops related to the science of the Sun-Earth 
connection. 

NASA Television will air the special two-hour webcast on 
March 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST. Host Paul Mortfield, an 
astronomer from the Stanford Solar Center in Stanford, 
Calif., will be joined by students at NASA's Ames Research 
Center, Moffett Field, Calif., to share the results of 
activities designed to learn more about the Sun. 

The webcast will begin with an explanation of the Lakota 
celebration of the equinox at Harney Peak, S.D. This 
introduction will include Lakota cultural parallels to the 
science of the Sun. The program also will feature a 
discussion with Astronaut John Young -- who made his first 
trip to space in a Gemini two-man capsule, walked on the moon 
on Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle flight -- 
about the effects of the Sun on space travel. 

Another activity will be "Telescopes in Education," in which 
participants will turn solar telescopes toward the Sun and 
explore the only star that can be studied up close. NASA's 
Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will host more 
than 60 children from Eliot Middle School. Via the Internet, 
the students will operate a telescope located at Mount Wilson 
Observatory, high above the Los Angeles basin in the San 
Gabriel Mountains.

The Telescopes In Education program allows educators and 
students around the world to remotely control research-
quality telescopes and cameras created at JPL and located at 
the Mount Wilson Observatory. All they need is a computer 
with a modem and special astronomy software.

The Sun-Earth Day event is sponsored by NASA's Sun-Earth 
Connection Education Forum, Ames Research Center and the 
Stanford Solar Center.

More information on the webcast can be found at:
http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/sso/events/stanford_solar/sunearthd
ay1.html

More information about Sun-Earth Days events in other 
communities is available at:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/sunearthday/

                          -end-

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