The Sun

1 Jan, 2015 520 Astronomy

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Sun. The object that gives the Earth its light and heat is a massive ball of gas and plasma 93 million miles away. Thanks to the nuclear fusion reactions taking place at its core, the Sun has been shining for four and a half billion years. Its structure, and the processes that keep it burning, have fascinated astronomers for centuries. After the invention of the telescope it became apparent that the Sun is not a placid, steadily shining body but is subject to periodic changes in its appearance and eruptions of dramatic violence, some of which can affect us here on Earth. Recent space missions have revealed fascinating new insights into our nearest star.

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  • Carolin Crawford 20 episodes
    Gresham Professor of Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge
  • Yvonne Elsworth No other episodes
    Poynting Professor of Physics at the University of Birmingham
  • Louise Harra No other episodes
    Professor of Solar Physics at UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Reading list

  • Carolin Crawford at the University of Cambridge
  • Yvonne Elsworth at the University of Birmingham
  • Louise Harra at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL
  • Solar System Exploration: Sun - NASA
  • High-Resolution Optical Spectroscopy - University of Birmingham
  • Hinode Science Center - NAOJ
  • Sun In Time
  • SolarMonitor
  • SpaceWeather
  • Solar Orbiter - ESA
  • Sun - Wikipedia
  • Music of the Sun: The Story of Helioseismology
    William Chaplin (Oneworld Publications, 2006) Google Books →
  • The Sun Kings: The Unexpected Tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of How Modern Astronomy Began
    Stuart Clark (Princeton University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun
    Leon Golub & Jay M. Pasachoff (Cambridge University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Guide to the Sun
    Kenneth Phillips (Cambridge University Press, 1995) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 523.7 (Sun)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. 26,000 light-years from the centre of our galaxy, in one of the outer reaches of the Milky Way, is an unremarkable little star.