For Further Exploration: The Sun: A Garden-Variety Star


Berman, B. “How Solar Storms Could Shut Down Earth.” Astronomy (September 2013): 22. Up-to-date review of how events on the Sun can hurt our civilization.

Frank, A. “Blowin’ in the Solar Wind.” Astronomy (October 1998): 60. On results from the SOHO spacecraft.

Holman, G. “The Mysterious Origins of Solar Flares.” Scientific American (April 2006): 38. New ideas involving magnetic reconnection and new observations of flares.

James, C. “Solar Forecast: Storm Ahead.” Sky & Telescope (July 2007): 24. Nice review on the effects of the Sun’s outbursts and on Earth and how we monitor “space weather.”

Schaefer, B. “Sunspots That Changed the World.” Sky & Telescope (April 1997): 34. Historical events connected with sunspots and solar activity.

Schrijver, C. and Title, A. “Today’s Science of the Sun.” Sky & Telescope (February 2001): 34; (March 2001): 34. Excellent reviews of recent results about the solar atmosphere.

Wadhwa, M. “Order from Chaos: Genesis Samples the Solar Wind.” Astronomy (October 2013): 54. On a satellite that returned samples of the Sun’s wind.



These can tell you and your students more about what’s happening on the Sun in real time.


Out There Raining Fire: Nice overview and introduction to the Sun by science reporter Dennis Overbye of the NY Times (2:28)

Sun Storms: From the Starry Night company about storms from the Sun now and in the past (4:49)

Sunspot Group AR 2339 Crosses the Sun: Short video (with music) animates Solar Dynamics Observatory images of an especially large sunspot group going across the Sun’s face (1:15).

Space Weather Impacts: Video from NOAA (2:47)

Videos from the National Weather Service (four short videos) (14:41)

Journey into the Sun: 2010 KQED Quest TV Program mostly about the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, its launch and capabilities, but with good general information on how the Sun works (12:24)

NASA | SDO: Three Years in Three Minutes—With Expert Commentary:  Video of 3 years of observations of the Sun by the Solar Dynamics Observatory made into a speeded up movie, with commentary by solar physicist Alex Young (5:03)

Our Explosive Sun: Video of a 2011 public lecture in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series by Dr. Thomas Berger about solar activity and recent satellite missions to observe and understand it (1:20:22)


Space Weather: Storms on the Sun: Science bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History, giving the background to what happens on the Sun to cause space weather (6:10)


What Happens on the Sun Doesn’t Stay on the Sun: From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: introduction to the Sun, space weather, its effects, and how we monitor it (4:56)