The New Science of Heliophysics
"From the Sun to the Stars: The New Science of Heliophysics" is a one hour High Definition Video documentary on the first five decades of the Space Age, beginning with IGY (1957) and America's Explorer 1 satellite, and ending - during IHY - with the twin Voyager spacecraft at the very edge of the heliosphere. The TV special will be enhanced and extended “beyond broadcast” by the production of shorter, edited versions adapted to multiple additional audiences and different media formats, from streaming video to podcasts.
Every component of the project is intended to inform and excite young people (middle school and above) and public audiences about the new science of heliophysics by presenting dramatic examples of Sun-Earth-solar system connections, from “space weather” impacting our planet, to the universal processes that also shape galaxies and the Universe at large.
From Van Allen's epochal discovery of the radiation belts which bear his name, to exploring the region where our solar system tails off into inter-stellar space, we've come to realize that magnetism shapes our local planets' origins and evolution, and the interaction of life on Earth with our nearby star, the Sun. The program shows how space weather affects important aspects of our modern global civilization, and why learning to explore the Moon, Mars and beyond requires space-faring nations discovering how to keep human voyagers safe from radiation. One location segment (excerpted in our first PodCast) shows how the United Nations Basic Space Science program and IHY collaborators from America are distributing low-cost space weather monitors to youngsters around Earth, to motivate developing nations' involvement in earth and space science. The program will also feature insights from IGY "veterans", explaining how the events and experiments of 1957 set the stage for the breakthrough science of the following decades.
From the Sun to the Stars will appear on NASA-TV, and will be offered to other broadcast or cable networks. An experienced Advisory Board including both veterans of the Voyager mission and the new generation of researchers who operate STEREO and current solar missions, is guiding the science content of the program, which will be produced in 1080i HDV and also in standard definition. Sun to the Stars will appear as short streaming video clips and video podcasts accessible here, the NASA portal, and other aggregators such as Google Video, YouTube, etc. HDV segments will be made available to science centers and museums for hosting on kiosks and other venues.