Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Colloquium

Monday, February 21, 2022 at 3:35pm

Fiske Planetarium and

Cherilynn Morrow and Craig DeForest, SwRI

"The Science and Outreach of the NASA PUNCH mission"

A Pretty Image from the Talk


PUNCH is an in-development Small Explorer mission to that will be uniquely capable of viewing the solar corona and solar wind as a united system. Four small satellites in Earth orbit will work together to produce continuous, 4-minute cadence polarized images of the entire inner solar system between 6-180 Rs from the Sun. PUNCH will provide 3D imagery of solar wind structures and their evolution with unprecedented quality and continuity. This will enable understanding of the global and cross-scale processes that operate throughout the solar corona and the inner heliosphere and provide a pioneering capacity for solar storm tracking and space weather monitoring.

Making use of the Fiske dome, we will present an overview of the exciting science of PUNCH, and of the rich outreach program that is bringing PUNCH-related science to non-specialist communities throughout the US Southwest and the nation. In January 2021, the NASA Heliophysics Division approved funding for the 5-year PUNCH Outreach Program (POP), referring to it publicly as a new exemplar for mission-embedded outreach. The POP engages PUNCH scientists in partnership with five planetariums and science centers (including Fiske) plus other multi-cultural partners to activate an Ancient & Modern Sun Watching theme designed to engage historically marginalized populations.


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