Solar Power!

7 08 2008

This week was Girls Explore Science week where we used imagination, creativity and teamwork to better understand the universe we live in and the science behind it.

Today we learned all about astronomy – the study of everything that is outside the earth’s atmosphere. We visited the Astronomy Department at UT, where we met an astronomer who studies the star that gives us the most energy – THE SUN!

Why do we study the sun?  It’s bright, it’s big, it warms us up and happens to be the brightest object in our sky! So naturally we’re really curious to know more about it. Our sun gives us light, heat and energy. Without it, life on earth would not exist. It would be so cold that no living thing would be able to survive and our planet would be completely frozen!

After learning a little more about this giant star, including how solar flares and sunspots work, we got to see the lab that contained a heliostat, a device that tracks the movement of the sun across the sky, also known as a solar telescope. Afterwards, we were able to go up on the rooftop and visit the giant dome that houses this telescope. The view of UT’s campus from up here was amazing! And at fourteen stories up, we were that much closer to outer space!

Check out NASA’s Sun-Earth viewer to watch real-time NASA satellite images of the Sun and Earth!


Have you ever seen a solar or lunar eclipse before? Tell us what it looked like!







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