NOVA: Secrets of the Sun

NOVA: Secrets of the Sun

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 9:00pm

The Sun, our nearest star, is made of three main layers, from the center outwards is the core, the radiative zone, and finally the convective zone above which we see it’s brilliant surface.

Credit: Courtesy of National Geographic Television

Gain a greater understanding of our nearest star — one that might help keep our planet from going dark.

You know it as the sun. Scientists know it as one of the most amazing physics laboratories in the universe. Now, with the help of new spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes, scientists are seeing the sun as they never have before and even re-creating in labs what happens at the very center of the sun. Their work will helps us understand aspects of the sun that have puzzled scientists for decades. But more critically, it may help us predict and track solar storms that have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications and ground global air travel for days, weeks, even longer. Such storms have occurred before — but never in the modern era of satellite communication. Secrets of the Sun airs Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 11 and 1011), reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star.


Watch Secrets of the Sun Preview on PBS. See more from NOVA.