The public broadcasting science series Nova created several virtual laboratories to let students, teachers, and the public learn more about topics in science. Nova’s Sun Labs adapts virtual observatory tools to let you study the Sun and learn how to count sunspots and forecast solar storms.
The Helioviewer web app lies at the heart of the Sun Lab. Developed by professional scientists to make it easier to combine data from the many solar observatories on Earth and in space, Helioviewer lets you zoom into the Sun’s surface, study it at different wavelengths, and create movies of solar flares and coronal mass ejections. The Sun Labs tutorials and interactive guides teach you how to calculate the sunspot number - a measure of solar activity used for almost two centuries.
The Sun Lab Guide for Educators helps teachers use the website in their classrooms.