A solar eruptive prominence as seen in extreme UV light
with Earth superimposed for a sense of scale. Credit: NASA/SDO
A lot of you wonder, "What about women in astronomy?" We thought you'd like a to hear about some women who are a part of the astronomy community in relation to the sun.
Start off by meeting the women of NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). You'll find out what sparked their interest in science, what they enjoy about their jobs, and get advice for students who want to work on a project like SDO.
Then listen to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific podcast with Planet Hunter Dr. Natalie Batalha on Kepler and The Sun-Like Stars. Batalha explains how Kepler works, what solar analogs are (also called solar twins or sun-like stars) and why Kepler is looking for solar twins. There's also a transcript that goes along with the podcast, which can be used to really understand what Kepler's doing. She explains things in a down-to-earth, clear way that's appealing to non-scientists and scientists alike.
It's always interesting to find out why people chose their careers, and you can watch a movie about how Dr. Batalha chose astronomy. She asked herself, "If you could do anything, what would it be?" And then she switched her plan to be a business major to deciding to work for NASA! Exciting stuff!
And, finally, at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, there are four science educators, who happen to be women, that are driving the NASA Night Sky Network educational resource development and the Astronomy from the Ground Up program. Both programs have developed resources on the sun and the solar system, as well as on other astronomy topics. The Night Sky Network team is working on a Heliophysics ToolKit, which will eventually be available to all Night Sky Network astronomy clubs.