Solar Superstorms

Running Time: 24 minutes

General Audience

Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun – high-velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas. What's driving these strange phenomena? How will they affect planet Earth? Find the answers as we venture into the seething interior of our star.

Solar Superstorms is a major new production that takes viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the Sun's rage in dramatic flares, violent solar tornadoes, and the largest eruptions in the solar system: Coronal Mass Ejections.

The show features one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of the sun, including a series of groundbreaking scientific visualizations computed on the giant supercomputing initiative, Blue Waters, based at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois.

Brace yourself for the onslaught of the next ... Solar Superstorm.

A co-production of Spitz Creative Media, NCSA's Advanced Visualization Lab, and Thomas Lucas Productions, Inc., in association with the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado (Boulder).

This project has been made possible with support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Film Office, and with funding by the National Science Foundation.

Solar Superstorms explores related content including:

  • The Earth-Sun relationship
  • Importance of magnetic fields in space
  • The nature of polar auroras
  • Space weather and the threat to communications and power networks
  • Monitoring solar behavior

More information is available at the Spitz Creative Media Solar Superstorms website.

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