Family Series

Sun-Earth Day

March 18, 2017

Cartoon illustration of Sun orbiting the Earth

Explore the special relationship between Earth and the Sun and learn about the delicate balance that makes our planet the perfect place to call home. Meet scientists, look through telescopes, and engage in hands-on activities at this family-friendly event.


Schedule of Events:

Exploration Stations
Located on the lower level of the Rose Center for Earth and Space
Visit each Exploration Station to collect stickers!
Cullman Hall of the Universe | 11 am–4 pm

Special Performance: The Story Pirates
Cullman Hall of the Universe | NOON | 2 PM
Join the Story Pirates for an interactive adventure that explores the science and wonder of space! Be a part of the show as we celebrate the Earth and Sun, bringing scientific concepts to life in this one-of-a-kind performance for kids and grown-ups alike.

Featured Talk: The Great American Eclipse of 2017
Cullman Hall of the Universe | 1:15 PM
The August 21, 2017, eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979—and the first that has traversed the entire continent since June 8th, 1918. The moon’s shadow will cut a 70-milewide path diagonally across the country from Oregon to South Carolina. For over two minutes, those in the path will experience an ethereal twilight with a naked-eye view of the Sun’s million-degree atmosphere called the corona. Over 500 million people in North America alone will be able to catch the eclipse in either its partial or total phase. Join Alex Young as he outlines the science and the wonder of total solar eclipses along with where and when you can experience the August 21st spectacle.

Alex Young is a NASA solar astrophysicist studying space weather in our solar system and beyond. He is the Associate Director for Science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the head of the Heliophysics Education Consortium.

Black Hole Theater | 11 AM–4 PM
Located on the lower level of the Cullman Hall of the Universe.
This immersive digital art installation lets you experience the world inside the Sun’s atmosphere using the vast reservoir of imagery from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Located in the School Group reception area, on the first floor of the Rose Center
Join astronomers Jackie Faherty and Irene Pease for an immersive look at our solar system in this portable planetarium.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

11:30 am | Goldilocks
12:00 pm | Eclipses
1:00 pm | Magnetic Fields
1:30 pm | Our Solar Neighborhood
2:00 pm | Seasons
2:30 pm | Eclipses
3:00 pm | Magnetic Fields
3:30 pm | Our Solar Neighborhood

Seasons | Every year, the seasons turn in a never-ending cycle. Why does this happen? Join us as we explore the Earth’s motion around the Sun and see how this motion creates the seasons on our planet.

Goldilocks | The Earth is at just the right distance from the Sun—not too close and not too far. Visit our neighboring planets and see what happens as we move toward and away from the Sun —what’s too hot, what’s too cold, and what makes Earth just right for a nice cozy life? 

Eclipses | What exactly is a solar eclipse? Why don’t we have one every month? See how the Earth, Moon, and Sun align for this type of eclipse, and view a simulation of the event, both from space and from the sunny South Pacific.

Magnetic Fields | In addition to light, the Sun emits high-energy charged particles that we call the solar wind. What happens when this wind reaches the Earth? Explore how the Earth’s magnetic field shields us from much of the Sun’s radiation.

Our Solar Neighborhood | Take a tour around though Earth’s neighborhood! We’ll visit some of our solar system’s planets, and see what other objects are orbiting our Sun.