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.

Performance Art

June 2024

The Sun can put on spectacular shows in the sky. From Earth, we watch the dance between the Sun and Moon during eclipses, see the mesmerizing motion of the aurora, witness a tapestry of colors during sunrise and sunset, and sometimes even spot the bright flashes of sprites. All of these unique occurrences have inspired performance art — from dance, to music, to theater, and beyond.

This month, we’ll look at how various kinds of performance artists are moved by the Sun and its influence on Earth.

Learn more about the Sun
Animated image of the aurora glimmering in the night sky, with a LIDAR beam beaming into the sky.
Aurora over Ny-Ålesund, Norway, bisected by a LIDAR beam.
Credit: NASA/Joy Ng

Performance Art

June 2024

Does the Sun or its interactions with Earth inspire you? Use these ideas to create your own performance art! 
Compose a song on your favorite instrument thinking of the Sun, aurora, or anything heliophysics.
Write lyrics based on your favorite memory in the Sun.
Choreograph a dance inspired by the movement of the Sun across the sky.
Create a playlist of your favorite heliophysics-themed songs.
Participate in a citizen science project, like HARP, that uses sonification.

More Activities
The “Chromatics”, an a capella band originally formed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, perform the Sun Song.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/The Chromatics

Performance Art

June 2024

The Sun’s influence extends far out, past the planets, creating the boundaries of our solar system. The Sun also influences us right here on Earth — including composer Henry Dehlinger’s piece "The Sun" from Cosmic Cycles: A Space Symphony. 

NASA scientific visualizer Scott Wiessinger created a corresponding film that highlights powerful solar imagery to go along with the composition. See the video and listen to the piece here.

In 2023, the National Philharmonic performed this piece while the audience watched the video of solar imagery. “The Sun” is one of seven movements in the composition — each focusing on a different aspect of space.

Learn More About Heliophysics
Maestro Piotr Gajewski conducts the National Philharmonic in the world premier performance of Henry Dehlinger’s “Cosmic Cycles,” Thursday, May 11, 2023, at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia.
NASA/Joel Kowsky

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