Aeon Video has a monthly newsletter!

Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.

Meet the citizen scientist who changed how we see the Sun, and science itself

In 1944, while Tokyo was under Allied aerial attack, sirens warned citizens to remain indoors as the government blacked out the city. Hisako Koyama, a Tokyo resident then aged 28, used these perilous, dark moments as an opportunity to pursue her passion for astronomical observation. But as this evocatively animated video from TED-Ed explores, it was her meticulous and innovative daylight sketches of the Sun that would ultimately capture the attention of the astronomy world. Melding Koyama’s inspiring biography with the science of sunspots and solar flares, the short is at once a glimpse into the Sun’s somewhat hidden cycles and a celebration of the contributions of citizen scientists.

Via The Kid Should See This

Video by TED-Ed

Director: Martina Meštrović

Writer: Alex Gendler

17 August 2021

Aeon is not-for-profit and free for everyone

Make a donation

Get Aeon straight to your inbox

Join our newsletter