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This total solar eclipse in 1980 was photographed from Palem, India.
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High Altitude Observatory and Rhodes College

High Altitude Observatory

Scientists at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) try to learn about the changes we see in the Sun over time. They also study how it affects the atmosphere of the Earth. There are four main areas of study at HAO.

Some people try to learn about the inside of the Sun, and how it changes over time. They collect facts about the Sun, and try to learn about the basic things that affect it.

Others focus on the magnetic parts of the Sun and the events we see near the surface. This connects the study of the inside with the changes in the hot gas above the surface.

Another group builds tools to look at the atmosphere of the Sun, and try to learn about the changes we see over hours and years. Light and gas move out from the Sun, sometimes in sudden bursts.

As this light and gas reaches the Earth, others study the impact of the Sun's output on the atmosphere of our planet. This helps us protect astronauts, and teaches us how the Sun affects our climate.

Last modified February 9, 2005 by Travis Metcalfe.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF