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Sun-Earth Day Presents: Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge

Local Happenings

Alaska- Anchorage
The Imaginarium-The Science Discovery Center

The Shortest Day of the Year!
Winter Solstice
Tuesday, December 21st 2004, Noon-3:00 p.m.

Explore the science behind the shortest day of the year and take back sun activities you can do at home. We will only see the sun for about 5 hours today so let's explore it while it's out. Special events are free with membership or admission to The Imaginarium.

The Imaginarium is Alaska's only hands-on Science Discovery Center and is at 737 West 5th Avenue #G in Anchorage, Alaska 99501-2129
Tel: 907-276-3179 , Fax: 907-258-4306 -

The Imaginarium Science Center Hours:

  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. - Monday-Saturday*
  • Noon- 5 p.m. - Sunday*

The Imaginarium is open every day except New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Call 907-276-3179 for more information.


Lawrence Hall of Science

Sun-Earth Day Sunday, March 20, 12 noon-3 p.m.
Sun-Earth Day is a national celebration of the Sun, the space around the Earth (geospace), and how all of it affects life on our planet. Harness your energy and the energy of the sun in a variety of activities, including Sunprints, sundials, and solar baking.

More Information:

Chabot Space and Science Center

Sunday, March 20, from 12 noon to 5:00 pm:

  1. Viewing of the webcast from Chichen Itza.
  2. Showing of "Solarmax" in our theater.
  3. Showing of "By the Light of the Sun" planetarium show.
  4. Live solar viewing with Sunspotters and H-alpha scope (weather permitting).
  5. "Build a Landscape" archaeoastronomy activity, where visitors build their own structure or natural landscape, using modeling clay, that make special shadow alignments on solstices and equionoxes.
  6. Sun-Earth Connection themed "Spotlight" hands-on activities.


March 17, 2005:
On March 17th, the Voyager/Ulysses Team will host ~80 students from Eliot Middle School here in Altadena, CA. They will view the NASA Connect Broadcast "Ancient Observatories Timeless Knowledge", Learn about the Sun-Earth Connection and how to view the Sun safely. The students will work through an activity and have a question and answer period.

San Diego
San Diego Astronomy Association

10 members from our club, San Diego Astronomy Association, set up both white light and H-alpha telescopes, one with an H-alpha video feed to a TV. We estimated over 2000 visitors to our telescopes over the 7 hours!! Here is the link to the pictures, you can click on the thumbnails to enlarge each picture.

San Francisco
Exploratorium: Ancient Observatory: Chichen Itza

Sunday, March 20, 2005: 1pm-4pm:
Beyond creating the awe-inspiring observatories in Chichen Itza, Mexico, the Mayan civilization made great advances in the realms of astronomy, mathematics, calendaring, art and architecture. Explore the culture and contributions of the ancient and contemporary Mayans. Discover the ancient art of Mayan hieroglyphics and learn how to decipher parts of the Mayan calendar. Take a chance at solving a simple Mayan math problem! Sip a cup of a fiery Mayan cacao-chili drink, forerunner of the modern hot chocolate. Zaazil ha, a San Rafael-based Mayan dance troupe, will perform a jarana, a traditional folkloric Mayan dance. Roving astronomers will be on hand to answer your most pressing astronomy questions. All activities will be accessible in Spanish and English. Free with Museum admission.

(415) EXP-LORE

Washington- Seattle
Time and location: 12:30-4:30 p.m.
NASA Educator Resource Center
310 Condon Hall, University of Washington Campus (for directions go to
February 5, 2005
For teachers of grades 3-12

Instructor: Dr. Julie Lutz, Research Professor of Astronomy and Director of the NASA Educator Resource Center, University of Washington

Are you ready to embark on a journey through time to investigate the mysteries of our nearest star? March 20, 2005 is NASA's Sun-Earth Day and the theme is Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge. This workshop will focus on the educational materials in the Sun-Earth Day 2005 Kit, which includes many interesting activities for students, as well as posters, CDs, lithographs and a DVD. All participants will receive a Sun-Earth Kit to use in their classrooms.

Subject material will include the following:

  1. How a variety of civilizations have tracked the motions of the sun and moon and marked the seasons.
  2. The basics of how the sun works (energy source, magnetic fields, solar flares, solar cycle, etc.) and how astronomers observe the sun.
  3. Solar-terrestrial relationships (aurora, space weather, etc.).
  4. NASA missions that are currently observing the sun.
  5. How teachers can get their students involved in the Student Observation Network (SON) and in Sun-Earth Day 2005.

Parts of the workshop will be "tracked", i.e. participants will get into groups according to the grade levels they teach (3-5, 6-8, 9-12) to try out appropriate activities. Links from the workshop materials to appropriate Grade Level Expectations will be provided.

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