Dear scientist, please be creative to use the materials of Science on a Table
in ways that suits you, your research and your visitors.
What’s on the table?
In the center of the table, there is a model of the Sun and the Earth with the major Sun-observing satellites.
A box with data/images belongs to each satellite.
This setting provides the context of current solar observation.
It can be used to demonstrate space weather, for example.
What’s in the boxes?
The images in the boxes have been selected according to three criteria:
- Spectacular and beautiful images > triggering curiosity and imagination
- One solar event observed by all observatories > showing the broad range of data involved in research
- One image per year > showing active and passive phases of the eleven years solar cycle
However, the images yield much more content for exploration, conversation and learning.
Visitors can discover solar phenomena such as sunspots, magnetic loops, eruptions, solar storms, auroras.
Visitors can compare data from different observatories and trace solar storms.
Not only are the images of the selected solar event compatible (selection criteria 2)
but also those showing the solar cycle (selection criteria 3).
These images show why it takes different kinds of observations to get an encompassing picture of the Sun and its effects in space.
Visitors can observe phenomena related to the instruments:
– particles of a solar storm hitting SOHO and disturbing the image,
– an image cut in half due to a technical problem,
– an image with nothing on it because the instrument pointed to the wrong spot,
– a disrupted image because the satellite turned to the night side of the Earth,
– or no observation at an Earth based observatory due to poor weather conditions.
These images show some of the technological challenges involved in the observation of the Sun.
Based on these images, many interesting questions related to science and the conditions of research can be discussed.
However, some images are just incredibly beautiful and people may want to take them home.
Please give them the link of this website so they can print any of those they like.
This concept works for open, informal learning situations such as science festivals.
Should you wish to use Science on a Table for school visits, learning needs to be more structured.
We plan to develop a booklet for school activities as soon as there is an opportunity for doing so.