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Next US Total Solar Eclipse (Apr 8, 2024)

The Sun and Us

sketch of sun from 1800s next to image of sun from high powered telescope

Explore life with our Sun.

The relationship between the Sun and us ignites wonder—and moves science forward.

Observing the Sun

We have always observed the Sun.

For astronomers and eclipse watchers in general, a total solar eclipse provides an excellent opportunity to study the Sun in detail. As millions of people travel to witness total solar eclipses across the world, we are reminded that humans have always observed the Sun. Exploratorium astronomer and educator, Dr. Isabel Hawkins, takes us through a brief history of viewing the Sun - from ancient Chinese astronomers using jade disks to look at the Sun to the latest NASA satellite mission to study the Sun, the Parker Solar Probe.

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope's infrared image of the distant universe

Navajo Knowledge of the Cosmos

For generations, Navajo people have studied the sky and passed down their stories.

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coronal mass ejection along with part of a solar filament

How does NASA study the Sun?

NASA has launched a literal flotilla of more than two dozen spacecraft to observe the Sun. Together they form the Heliophysics System Observatory,

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NASA Heliophysics Missions
NASA Heliophysics Missions
To understand Earth, we have to understand the Sun’s impact on the planet we call home. NASA has formed the Science Mission Directorate Heliophysics Division to investigate the nature of our closest star.
Mission to the Sun
Mission to the Sun
The Parker Solar Probe was built to study a very hot spot. Join Eric Christian, NASA research scientist, as he details the objectives of the mission and describes some solar mysteries NASA hopes to solve.
Catching Up with Parker Solar Probe
Catching Up with Parker Solar Probe
As NASA’s Parker Solar Probe orbits the Sun, it sends back data that help scientists unravel mysteries like the origins of the solar wind