Challenge Updates


The Tracking a Solar Storm challenge ended on January 31, 2014. Classes that submitted a space weather report can see their slide presentation or video posted on the Student Reports page of this website. This website will remain active through the month of February.

IRIS Mission News


The IRIS spacecraft launched on Thursday, June 27, 2013. Visit the IRIS mission website to see images of the Pegasus XL rocket that carried IRIS into space. Or visit the News portion of the website to learn about IRIS's first glimpses of the Sun.

On Oct. 31, 2013, NASA's most recent addition to its solar-observing fleet began sharing its data and imagery with the world.

On December 9, 2013, some interesting images of the Sun provided by the IRIS instruments were published on the IRIS mission website.

Overview of the IRIS Challenge


The Tracking a Solar Storm challenge will run for twelve academic weeks from October 21, 2013 until January 31, 2014. Timing for the challenge is flexible, meaning that you can spread the challenge over a few months or compress the activity into a few weeks. The challenge will conclude on January 31, so please plan for your students to submit their space weather reports on or before this date.

IRIS Challenge Theme: Tracking a Solar Storm.

  • The IRIS Challenge educator guide provides a framework and background information for implementing the challenge.
  • The optional student materials include 4 flipcharts and 4 data collection sheets from NASA's Space Weather Action Center website that can be downloaded as PDFs.
  • Supporting solar images and informational videos are housed on the Images and Videos pages of this website. These may be updated during the Challenge.
  • Research on the background of the IRIS Mission and other solar studies and missions may be found on the Links page.
  • Profiles of persons key to this mission may be found on the Bios page.

The IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) mission traces the flow of energy and plasma through the chromosphere and transition region into the corona using spectrometry and imaging. IRIS is designed to provide significant new information to increase our understanding of energy transport into the corona and solar wind and provide an archetype for all stellar atmospheres. The unique state-of-the-art instrument (hi-res spectrograph) capabilities, coupled with state-of-the-art 3-D modeling, will fill a large gap in our knowledge of this dynamic region of the solar atmosphere.

  NASA Privacy Policy
  NASA Official: Darlene Gross
  Last updated: February 4, 2014