The Heliophysics Big Year

The Heliophysics Big Year is a global celebration of the Sun’s influence on Earth and the entire solar system. From Oct. 14, 2023, to Dec. 24, 2024, we are challenging you to participate in as many Sun-related activities as you can!

A little girl stands in front of a large projection of the Sun with her arms outstretched. Several other people stand behind her.

Visual Art

May 2024

From solar eclipses, to aurora, to spectacular sunsets, the Sun creates art all around us. These breathtaking experiences have been depicted in visual art for thousands of years. 

This month, we’ll look at ways artists around the world are portraying the Sun, from graphic illustrations to sculptures, and explore how we can create art inspired by our closest star and its interactions on Earth.

Explore NASA’s Art Gallery and Activities
Petroglyph possibly depicting an eclipse
There are many petroglyphs at Chaco Canyon, which provide important clues about how Ancestral Puebloans studied the Sun. This is an example from Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
National Park Service

Visual Art

May 2024

How does the Sun inspire you? Use these activities to create your own solar art! 
Create a suncatcher or stained glass that highlights the relationship between the Sun and Earth!
Make marbled paper that looks like the Sun.
Use ultraviolet light from the Sun to create handprint art.
Design your own aurora using pastels!
Color in NASA’s coloring pages of our solar system or create your own eclipse poster!

More Activities
An image taken from the International Space Station (ISS) of auroral beads dancing in Earth’s atmosphere, bright green glowing bands of light. The atmosphere can be seen as a thin glowing orange line above Earth. Lower atmosphere clouds can be seen below the aurora. Parts of the ISS can be seen on the top of the image. Solar panels jet out from the top left corner. Above the Earth is space dotted with stars.
Auroral beads seen from the International Space Station on Sept. 17, 2011. NASA studies aurora as they are visible markers of space weather processes around Earth.

Visual Art

May 2024

Scientists and citizen scientists use color and photography to learn more about our Sun and the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, called the ionosphere, thermosphere, and mesosphere.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory sees the Sun in more than 10 distinct wavelengths of light, showing solar material at different temperatures. Watch this video to learn more about how color and science go together.

Photographers and citizen scientists chase sprites, immense jolts of light that flicker high above thunderstorms. Learn more about how photographers and scientists work together to study this mysterious phenomenon with this blog post and video.

Learn More About Heliophysics
Pie slice view showing the Sun 10 different wavelengths of life. It appears as a colorful rainbow spectrum.
This composite image shows the wide range of wavelengths – invisible to the naked eye – that NASA's Solar Dynamic Observatory can view. SDO converts the wavelengths into an image humans can see, and the light is colorized into a rainbow of colors.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Connect with NASA Sun on Social

Keep Exploring

Discover More Topics From NASA