Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Helps Visually Impaired Students Touch The Sun

Date:
December 24, 2004
Source:
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
Summary:
A new book, "Touch the Sun," allows blind and visually impaired students to experience images of the sun and solar activity by feeling transparent raised textures bonded to the pictures.

Callie Hurst tests out some of the early versions of the book with Ben Wentworth, a retired science teacher.
Credit: James Bristol, Coloado School for the Deaf and Blind

A new book, "Touch the Sun," allows blind and visually impaired students to experience images of the sun and solar activity by feeling transparent raised textures bonded to the pictures.

Related Articles


The book features arresting images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft, as well as a close-up of a sunspot from the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak in the Lincoln National Forest, N.M.

"Invisible magnetic fields rule the violent solar activity that generates space weather," said Dr. Joseph Gurman, the U.S. project scientist for SOHO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "We are all blind to magnetic fields, so the visually impaired can be just as successful as the sighted in solar science," he explained. Gurman collaborated with Steele Hill, the SOHO imaging specialist at Goddard, to select the images and edit the scientific content.

The book was written by Noreen Grice, author of two other books featuring textured celestial images for the visually impaired: "Touch the Universe" and "Touch the Stars." "Touch the Sun" was funded by a partnership among NASA, the Lockheed Martin Corporation's Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Stanford Solar Center, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

Approximately 2,500 copies will be printed. The majority will be distributed free to blind and visually impaired students, with the assistance of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, a division of the National Federation of the Blind. The remainder will be available for public purchase.

"Touch the Sun brings exciting new discoveries in solar science to those who otherwise might not have a chance to participate," said Deputy Director of Earth-Sun Systems, Dick Fisher at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "This is an integral part of what NASA hopes to accomplish with the new Vision for Space Exploration -- to share the thrill of exploring space with everyone," he explained.

Sample pages will be presented during the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, at the press conference "Innovations in Geoscience Education." The event is today at 6 p.m. EST (3 p.m. PST) at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The estimated publication date is March or April 2005.

"Our bright yellow star appears unchanging but in fact is an active, violent place that directly affects our home planet," Grice said. "Touch the Sun is a universally designed book for readers of all visual abilities. You can explore the sun with embossed color pictures of swirling gas currents, dark sunspots, curving magnetic fields and explosive eruptions," she said.

Raised patterns embossed over the images in "Touch the Sun" translate colors, shapes and other intricate details of the sun and space weather, allowing visually impaired people to feel what they cannot see. It incorporates Braille and large-print descriptions for each of the book's 16 photographs, so it is accessible to readers of all visual abilities.

Students at the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind in Colorado Springs, Colo., evaluated each image for clarity and provided suggestions for improvement.

Gurman initiated "Touch the Sun" after he saw "Touch the Universe" presented at the June 2002 meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Albuquerque, N.M. "I realized solar science was a natural fit for a book like this, and our partners did as well. This was one of those rare projects where there was no resistance to the idea. Everyone who heard about it was enthusiastic," Gurman said.

"Touch the Sun" will be published by the Joseph Henry Press, trade imprint of the National Academies Press (publisher for the National Academy of Sciences). To view related images on the Internet, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/solarsystem/touch_sun.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics And Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Helps Visually Impaired Students Touch The Sun." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041217101716.htm>.
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. (2004, December 24). NASA Helps Visually Impaired Students Touch The Sun. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041217101716.htm
National Aeronautics And Space Administration. "NASA Helps Visually Impaired Students Touch The Sun." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041217101716.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With International Space Station: NASA

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely docks with the International Space Station, according to NASA. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Multi-National Crew Safely Docks at Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 24, 2014) A Russian Soyuz rocket delivers a multi-national trio to the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

Raw: Soyuz Docks With Int'l Space Station

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) A Russian capsule carrying three astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy has arrived at the International Space Station. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins