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Astronomy 2e

For Further Exploration

Astronomy 2eFor Further Exploration


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

Bobra, M. “Is the Sun Changing.” Sky & Telescope (January 2018): 18. Why have the last few activity cycles differed from expectations.

Evans, B. “A Fresh Look at our Home Star.” Astronomy (August 2020): 18. Good introduction to the Sun and how the European Solar Orbiter probe will observe it.

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

MacDougal, D. “Charles Greeley Abbot and the Epic Hunt for the Solar Constant.” Sky & Telescope (July 2022): 28. How astronomers measured the energy output of the Sun.

Rimmer, A. “The Sun: Now in High-Def.” Sky & Telescope (November 2023): 14. About the remarkably detailed images from the Inouye Solar Telescope.

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

Stuart, C. “How Well Do We Know the Sun.” Sky & Telescope (April 2021): 12. Different techniques imply somewhat different abundances of elements in the Sun.

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

Whitney, Charles “Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin: An Astronomer's Astrono¬mer.” Sky & Telescope (March 1980): 212. On the life and work of the astronomer who figured out what the Sun and the stars are made of.

Young, M. “To Touch the Sun.” Sky & Telescope (November 2020): 20. On the Parker solar probe mission.


Cecilia Payne and the Composition of the Stars: A nice essay by Steve Soter and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

High Altitude Observatory: Introduction to the Sun: A site with information and images for beginners.

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center: Information for the Public: Includes primers, videos, a curriculum, and training modules, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Parker Solar Probe website: All about the NASA mission to study the Sun close-up.

Profile of Space Weather: An illustrated booklet from NOAA, explaining the Sun’s effects on Earth.

SOHO: Solar and Heliospheric Observatory: A NASA/ESA satellite mission with a rich website to explore.

Solar Dynamics Observatory: About the mission to study the Sun in many wavelengths.

Space Weather Live: This allows you to keep almost instant track of what is happening with the Sun and how its activity is likely to affect auroras here on Earth.

Stanford Solar Center: An excellent site with information for students and teachers, including science, history, folklore, and much else about the Sun.

Sten Odenwald’s “Solar Storms” site: Rich website with historical and modern information by the astronomer who wrote the book Solar Storms.

STEREO Mission: Two NASA spacecraft monitoring the Sun from different vantage points to provide more 3-D coverage of its activity.


Aurora Forecast Rocketeer: An app from the University Centre in Svalbard to help you see solar activity levels and where on Earth aurorae are expected to be visible.

NASA Space Weather Media Viewer: Real-time images and data from the Sun.


Effects of the Solar Wind: Explains the Sun’s wind and its effects on Earth, then focuses on the Parker Solar Probe (3:45).

Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun: A 2012 flare on the Sun and the activity—CME and magnetic displays—that followed, recorded by the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite, with dramatic music (4:16).

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

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 (1:20:21).

Our Violent and Brilliant Sun: Basic introduction to the Sun, and to ways we observe the activity on our star and space weather; features solar astronomer Lucie Green (5:32).

Solar Dynamics Observatory: 5 Years: A compilation of sequences of some of the most dramatic solar activity observed by the SDO space mission in its first five years of operation (4:36).

Solar Granules Time Lapse Movie: Short video from the Swedish Institute for Solar Physics with remarkable detail (0:34).

Solar Minimum vs. Solar Maximum: Short video showing the Sun (from the SDO probe) when it is most and least active (0:21).

Space Weather Impacts: Four short films ranging from 2–5 minutes from the National Weather Service on the impacts that the Sun’s activity can have on the Earth.

Space Weather: Storms from 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).

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