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The woman who stared at the sun - Alex Gendler

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In 1944, amateur astronomer Hisako Koyama’s latest endeavor was sketching the sun’s shifting surface. She spent weeks angling her telescope towards the sun and tracking every change she saw with drawings. Little did she know, these drawings were the start of one of the most important records of solar activity in human history. Alex Gendler details the incredible legacy of Koyama's work.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Long overlooked, Hisako Koyama’s life and career are covered in several articles, as well as a more detailed scientific paper. You can also see a more detailed report on her solar observations, and how they have helped reconstruct the historical record. And though we have known about sunspots for a long time, we are only recently beginning to learn about their impact on the Earth and its climate.

About Space Ed

Space Ed helps you untangle the mysteries of space with the universe’s best videos on everything from Einstein's theory of relativity to what it would take to live on Mars. Brush up on the science, philosophy and mystery of space, because the fabric of the universe is the same fabric that connects us all.

Meet The Creators

  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Martina Meštrović
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma
  • Sound Designer Marko First
  • Animator Marko Meštrović
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