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The woman who stared at the sun - Alex Gendler

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  • TEDEd Animation

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In 1944, amateur astronomer Hisako Koyama’s latest endeavor was sketching the sun’s shifting surface. She spent weeks angling her telescope towards the sun and tracking every change she saw with drawings. Little did she know, these drawings were the start of one of the most important records of solar activity in human history. Alex Gendler details the incredible legacy of Koyama's work.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Martina Meštrović
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Martina Meštrović
  • Animator Martina Meštrović, Marko Meštrović
  • Art Director Martina Meštrović
  • Composer Marko First
  • Sound Designer Marko First
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more creators
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Long overlooked, Hisako Koyama’s life and career are covered in several articles, as well as a more detailed scientific paper. You can also see a more detailed report on her solar observations, and how they have helped reconstruct the historical record. And though we have known about sunspots for a long time, we are only recently beginning to learn about their impact on the Earth and its climate.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Martina Meštrović
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Martina Meštrović
  • Animator Martina Meštrović, Marko Meštrović
  • Art Director Martina Meštrović
  • Composer Marko First
  • Sound Designer Marko First
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more creators