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Children’s comic book series introduces solar-terrestrial physics

SCOSTEP programme brings Japanese comics to several languages.

According to the Scientific Committee On Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP), the comic books are designed to introduce several topics of solar-terrestrial physics to the public — particularly to young people. 

The series currently has nine books, each aimed at educating its readers on a different topic. Topics include global warming, solar wind, cosmic rays, the ozone hole and more.

SCOSTEP is a thematic body of the ISC. It runs international interdisciplinary scientific programmes and promotes solar-terrestrial physics research by providing the necessary scientific framework for international collaboration and dissemination of the derived scientific knowledge.

According to Patricia Doherty, Scientific Secretary at SCOSTEP, the comics are meant to pique the curiosity of young readers and to raise awareness for people from a non-science background.  The comic books feature humorous characters to explain scientific themes in a friendly way.  

“Children from all backgrounds can enjoy and learn from these comic books.  They can identify with the characters and enjoy the journey into space physics in an understandable manner. These books include many scientific terms – thus they can increase vocabulary and hopefully induce excitement in otherwise complex topics.  The comic books are suitable in many grade levels and for the general public.” 

– Patricia Doherty

The comic series was originally created by Prof. Yosuke Kamide at the Solar-Terrestrial Energy Laboratory at Nagoya University in Japan, in collaboration with SCOSTEP’s Climate And Weather of the Sun-Earth System (CAWSES) programme. Since then, they have been translated into English and French, and several are available in Czech, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu. SCOSTEP aims to translate the books to Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Norwegian and Bengali too.   

Online versions of the comic books can be downloaded free here

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