Sun Watching Theme: Outreach For NASA PUNCH Mission

NASA embraces ancient and modern Sun Watching themes. Images taken by Southwest Research Institute on August 19, 2021.

These images present the view of Ancient and Modern Sun-Watching themes under NASA PUNCH outreach program. The PUNCH mission to launch in 2023. It is about the research on Sun’s Corona. That is the external atmosphere of the Sun and that becomes visible in total solar eclipses. 

About The PUNCH mission

PUNCH stands for: Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere. It is a solar mission initiated by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The PUNCH outreach program is spread in four states and collaborates with five planetariums and many science centers. It has also included multicultural partners in the United States. 

The mission is about the research on Sun’s corona to conclude how would the corona turn into a “Solar Wind”. To view how charged particles and magnetic fields, throw out from the Sun and interact with the solar system and to the planets. 

The mission is funded by NASA. The Outreach team has strong connections with the NASA-sponsored solar programs and missions. 

Moreover the SwRI is collaborating with different partners in order to implement the PUNCH Outreach mission. These include the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado in Boulder, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque and the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

Also read: Cool Stars to Support life in Space

Statement of Outreach Program’s Director about sun watching thene

Punch Outreach Program’s Director Dr. Cherilynn Morrow said that the PUNCH theme is portraying NASA’s exploration of the Sun and its natural impact on humanity and to the Sun’s rhythms and mysteries. In this way the team would identify how NASA science considers the cultural history of diverse peoples. 

He said that there is worldwide evidence that all humans are descended from the Sun watching cultures.  

Statement of Dr. Craig DeForest of SwRI

Dr. Craig is the principal investigator in SwRI’s space science and Engineering division. He said in a report that this Sun-Earth connection develops science more broadly. 

He further added that the Cameras are definitely capable of taking images of solar wind. Following continuously from the time when solar winds leave the Sun. Moreover these will capture the overall view of solar winds. Moreover these would capture that how these impacts on spacecrafts, astronauts and creating auroral lights. 

Concept Behind the Punch Outreach Program about sun watching theme

The PUNCH Outreach mission is about a specific inspiration from Chaco Canyon. Chaco Canyon is a ethnic region in New Mexico. The area had a total solar eclipse in 1097 might be similar as rock art. 

There were the age-old Sun-watching practices. Ancestral Puebloan people built the thousand year old remnants of monumental architecture. They oriented these monuments according to their knowledge about the movement of the sun and moon. 

The PUNCH project emphasizes ancestral connections to Chaco Canyon. It  would provide a pathway for our youth at Acoma and Laguna Pueblos. In touch with the Chaco’s culture the NASA envisions experiments in Science and technology. 

The PUNCH mission aims to learn from the experience of Native American and Hispanic youth and their families. They would learn by pursuing STEM-related patches and badges, and blind or visually impaired learners.

Key Objectives Of the Outreach Program

  • The Program’s key objective is “shining a new light on different views of the Sun”. The views might be scientific, historic, artistic or cross-cultural as well as the result of an individual’s observations.
  • The PUNCH team will use solar eclipses from the U.S in 2023 and 2024. 
  • Creating public engagement in arts-integrated opportunities for learning NASA-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
  • The Outreach team will develop a series of enduring products and events through the use of “Ancient and Modern Sun Watching theme”

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