What do Stonehenge, Mayan pyramids, and a spacecraft a million miles away have in common? They’re linked by a human need to explore and understand the Sun, moon, planets, and stars. This year’s Sun-Earth Day, “Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge,” is aimed at students and museums and focuses on the link between ancient and modern observatories. A joint venture between NASA and the Exploratorium of San Francisco, the event traditionally occurs on or near the spring equinox; this year it falls on March 20. Resources include printed and electronic material, television programming, and a webcast.

Media are encouraged to cover activities in their communities. Background broadcast and web materials will be made available on NASA TV and NASA’s web site on March 18.

WHAT:           NASA Connect Program: “Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge” – a half-hour math and science program on NASA TV and local PBS stations

WHEN:          Thursday, March 17, 2005, 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. ET

AUDIENCE: Teachers and students in grades 6-8

WHO: With the use of ancient, modern, and future technology, NASA scientists and Native American astronomers investigate how ancient civilizations worked to unlock the secrets of the Sun. Reference is made to the National Museum of American Indian, Chaco Canyon, Hovenweep, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, Newgrange, and Egypt.

WHAT:           Webcast & Sat Uplink – Live from Chichen Itza, Mexico (English & Spanish)

WHEN:          Sunday, March 20, 2005

English program:  5:00 p.m. EST, 4:00 p.m. Mexico, 2:00 p.m. PST

Spanish program: 5:45 p.m. EST, 4:45 p.m. Mexico, 2:45 p.m. PST

AUDIENCE: General public at museums and science centers. The webcast is located at: http://www.exploratorium.edu/ancientobs/chichen/ and see http://www.exploratorium.edu/ for more info.                                    


KU-Band Digital: Galaxy 4R, Transponder 03K Slot A, 99º West longitude, frequency 9MHz Slot A at 11746.5 MHz, horizontal polarity. C-Band Analog: Galaxy 11, 91º West longitude, transponder 16C, frequency 4020 MHz, vertical polarity.

WHO: Join the thousands who gather in Chichen Itza to witness the appearance of a serpent-shaped shadow descend the main staircase of an ancient Mayan temple during the solar alignment. Expect a live feed from the site and discussions with local scientists.

WHAT:           Media Satellite Tour & Video Uplink on NASA-TV

WHEN:          Monday, March 21, 2005 6-10 am ET.

AUDIENCE: Broadcast news media: To book a 5-minute window, contact Rachel Weintraub: 301-286-0918 or Rachel.Weintraub@nasa.gov

WHO:             This event features NASA scientists talking about the exciting link between ancient and modern observatories and a look at the next generation of solar observers.

Sun-Earth Day is an event that epitomizes NASA’s mission to explore the Sun and our home planet to give us a better understanding of our place in the universe.

For more information about these events, please visit on the Internet:


For more information about Sun-Earth Day, please visit on the Internet: