How is the Weather in Near Earth Space? I Love My Sun

Frequently Asked Questions

What is "I Love My Sun"? Why "I Love My Sun"? Why Space Weather?

The International Heliophysical Year (IHY) in 2007 was sponsored by the United Nations on the 50th anniversary of the space age and driven by international collaborative programs [ http://ihy200.org ]. The “Outreach and Education” program is one of the four main components of IHY: Science; Observatory Development; Outreach; History. It was fundamental in achieving one of IHY's primary objectives which is to "demonstrate the beauty, relevance and significance of Space and Earth Science to the world."

Our closest star, the Sun, provides us with life as we know it here on Earth. It is studied in detail by scientists, so that we may better understand its role in the changing weather encountered on Earth as well as in the Near Earth Space, the latter known as space weather.

The Sun itself can also be used as an innovative tool for making children aware that they are part of the global picture. Space technology has become part of our daily lives with human activities in space increasing at a rapid rate. However, our advanced technology is more than ever vulnerable to space weather.

There is a vital need to provide outreach and education activities in space weather so as to properly develop space weather markets along with fundamental and applied activities. In particular, it is therefore, important that children, the flag carriers of tomorrow become aware of the dynamic relation that exists ship between the Sun and the Earth.( (Tulunay et al. ,The COST Example for Outreach to the General Public: I Love My Sun, J.Space Weather, Space Climate, 3 (2013) A04 DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2013026)

The IHY Outreach and Educational Program focuses on:

  • developing new and exciting outreach programs that provide unique opportunities for the global community;
  • increasing the visibility and accessibility of existing outreach programs;
  • developing partnerships between existing programs and activities to broaden their scope and impact;
  • determining the need for multi-lingual adaptations of educational resources and facilitating their translation;
  • The Outreach and Educational Program for IHY has the following objectives :- inspiring the next generation of Space and Earth scientists and explorers;
   - spreading the knowledge of our solar system and the exciting process of exploration to the people of the world.
  • “Space weather and Europe – an Education Tool with the Sun (SWEETS)” is a public outreach activity and encomprassing some of the activities of the IHY. SWEETS was funded by the European Commission within the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) [http://www.sweets2007.eu/]. SWEETS is supported by COST Actions 724 , 296 and IHY.

Specifically, under the umbrella of IHY and the COST 724 Action the “I Love My Sun” concept was created and initiated by Yurdanur Tulunay of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. The first I Love My Sun Event was conducted in 2007 and repeated in 2008 as national activities of SWEETS in Turkey. Since then it has been extended into spatial and temporal dimensions and finalised within the FP7 COST- ESSEM ES0803 Action in 2013 (Tulunay et al. ,The COST Example for Outreach to the General Public: I Love My Sun, J.Space Weather, Space Climate, 3 (2013) A04 DOI: 10.1051/swsc/2013026).

By now, "I Love My Sun" has been extended to include adults also.

What is so unique about "I Love My Sun"?

"I Love My Sun" activity introduces an outreach topic to non-professionals in an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere in a considerably short length of time.

Can the findings of "I Love My Sun" be considered a generic action for other needs?

The method and the technique of measurement the results are adaptable and open to further developments and generalisations. Therefore, the method and the novel matrix developed are not limited to a certain activity but open to generalisation of other activities.

Can non - Countable outcomes of "I Love My Sun" be measured as possible objectives?

A novel matrix like template was also developed to measure the non – countable outcomes of an outreach activity in a manner as objective as possible.

What are the target groups of an "I Love My Sun" action?

Children of age 7-11, with Autism Spectrum Disorder; and adults...

How is the "I Love My Sun" event performed ?

Space weather, in particular, the Sun, and the Earth are the focal points of an outreach event.

The main objective is to pose the question, how children who come from a variety of backgrounds {any type of class (encompassing children with autistic and/or spastic spectrums etc.) , and schools } perceive the Sun, Sun – Earth relations?

Briefly, the children, before and after an introductory story telling like tutorial, are asked to express themselves by drawing the Sun and /or Sun – Earth relation. The contents of the tutorial has been prepared in a way (and level) to spark interest in natural phenomena such as the Sun, Sun – Earth relations. The tutorial is given interactively encouraging the children to ask questions.

* The class of children who can express themselves in music may also be the objects of an I Love My Sun event.

* Recently, the I Love My Sun Action has been extended towards the senior people.

What are the impacts of an "I Love My Sun" action

Such an event creates awareness of understanding space weather to shield society [https://cosparhq.cnes.fr/scientific-structure/cospar-scientifi-roadmaps],[http://tinyurl.com/swxrm]”.

Such an outreach activity complements very well with formal educational programs contributing towards the wellness of society.

The success of a school visit includes the children education in a way so that they are able to understand the nature of the Sun and Earth, as well as the interaction processes which occur between the two entities.

"I Love My Sun" concept aims to make school children of any class and school (age 6-10) aware of the real Sun and the Near Earth Space environment , other than the popular science fiction culture which appears mostly on other means of media.

Some Typical Examples

FP6 SWEETS / IHY / COST 724 “I LOVE MY SUN” (An outreach Activity in Turkey: 
Space Weather and Sun as conceived by School Children of age 7-11)

Some of the typical drawings of the Turkish children from the Başkent University Özel Ayşeabla private school in Ankara.


Some of the "before" and "after" drawings of the Turkish children (children without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from the Kütükçü Alibey İlköğretim Okulu a primary state school.


Some of the "before" and "after" drawings of the Turkish children (children with ASD from the Kütükçü Alibey İlköğretim Okulu a primary state school.)


What does the logo stand for?

The logo consists of two dimentions. The main image is the logo of International Heliophysical Year. [http://www.ihy2007.org]

The second image superimposed on the main image is of the twin idols, dating back to the last quarter of the 3rd millennium B.C. and they were found at Alacahöyük, Central Anatolia, exibited at the museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara.

Some of the Relevant Typical Refences