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Changes in Astronomy Day and its Award
Changes in Astronomy Day and its Award
13 Feb 2001
(Source: Astronomy Day)

The new millennium brings with it improvements to the Astronomy Day award and for the first time, a special theme. In conjunction with NASA's Sun Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF), Astronomy Day is partnering with "Sun-Earth" Days. Sun-Earth Day is a two-day event covering the Friday before Astronomy Day and Astronomy Day itself. With the Sun near Solar Max, this makes the perfect opportunity to devote special attention to the Sun and its effects upon the Earth. This also marks the fifth anniversary of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

The goal of this event is to promote awareness of the dynamics of our Sun and the space around Earth, and how all of it affects life on the ground. As we say with our promotional tag line, we want to "Have a Solar Blast" with teachers, students, and the public at large. By design, Sun-Earth Days will be supported and promoted on a national level, but will be sponsored and organized locally. That is, SECEF and its partners will organize information, products, databases, ideas, and volunteer scientists and educators, then disseminate those materials and offer support to regional groups as they develop events with a local flavor.

To that end, SECEF is working to unify the Sun-Earth Connection missions within NASA, their distributed science teams and investigators around the world, and the education and outreach groups within the Office of Space Science.

SECEF is offering a resource kit including posters, videos, lesson plans, activities, demonstrations, Solar misconceptions and a CD-ROM, "Making the Sun-Earth Connection" and a list of other activities and materials available form other sources. These kits will be available beginning in February. E-mail your request to or visit the web address below.

A special web site will be set up that will have the latest information about the Sun and will also be usable during Astronomy Day with real-time imagery of the Sun, aurora and interplanetary space from space-based and ground-based observatories as well as information on space weather and solar phenomena. SECEF is also acting as a clearing house to match a limited number of Solar and Geospace Physicists with Astronomy Day sites that desire special talks, materials or consultants about the Sun on Astronomy Day. Visit:

This year the award will be restructured into the main award plus 2 or 3 special awards as described below. Sky Publishing will continue to sponsor the award with the primary award being a $250.00 gift certificate. New categories of secondary awards are: Best new idea, the organization that did the most for its size and the organization that does quality events year after year (determined by previous entries). Not all awards may be awarded each year. All new entry forms are required. For a set of rules and entry forms, send a SASE to: Gary Tomlinson, Astronomy Day Headquarters, Public Museum of Grand Rapids, 272 Pearl NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504 or visit the Astronomy League's web site at for a link to Astronomy Day entry forms.

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Last Updated: 5 Jun 2001