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The team of STEM professionals carrying out the outreach program for the PUNCH mission convened its first, in-person Annual Retreat of ~30 core team members, collaborators, advisors, and other partners during the last week of September 2022. The COVID pandemic had prevented the PUNCH outreach team from meeting in person last year after NASA approved our mission-embedded outreach proposal in January 2021. This year’s gathering joined diverse collaborators who had been working together remotely on PUNCH Outreach since the Spring of 2020.


The third PUNCH (Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere) Science Meeting was on August 12th, 2022. Attendance was high and the attendees were highly engaged. Major science topics included the origin and evolution of the ambient solar wind and turbulence within it, mission outreach, and the physics, tracking, and predictability of transient events including CMEs, CIRs, and shocks.


PUNCH has passed its Critical Design Review, a major milestone in the course of the mission. The three-day design review was a hybrid meeting, held in person at SwRI headquarters in San Antonio, TX, March 1-3. The team presented current mission design, and fabrication, integration, and test plans, to representatives from NASA and from the mission’s independent Standing Review Board. This was the first mission milestone meeting to be held in-person, since the initial Phase B kickoff meeting held in 2019 immediately after selection.


PUNCH science and outreach development continues, with presentations at the Fall 2021 AGU. PDFs of posters are available on the PUNCH publications / presentation page, and videos of talks on the PUNCH Youtube Playlist.


The PUNCH 2 Science Meeting took place August 9-11, 2021. If you missed the talks, or just want to see them again, they are available via a Youtube Playlist, and also through the workshop agenda with time-stamped access to specific talks.


If you are a research scientist, educator, science writer, or other communicator of Sun-related science, heliophysics, or space weather to non-specialist audiences, please complete this survey. The survey results will have a powerful influence on the development of PUNCH Outreach products, PUNCH News Items, and any other efforts in the communication of our science. Your responses will validate our selection of an appropriate set of misunderstandings to include in a product that will provide proven strategies for addressing each misunderstanding.

2021-08-09 SwRI press release

NASA has funded a five-year outreach program in association with the Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH), a solar mission led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). The PUNCH Outreach Program, also led by SwRI, is collaborating with five planetariums and science centers in four states, plus other multicultural partners in the southwestern United States.

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