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For Further Exploration

AstronomyFor Further Exploration


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.


Dr. Sten Odenwald’s “Solar Storms” site:

ESA/NASA’s Solar & Heliospheric Observatory: A satellite mission with a rich website to explore.

High Altitude Observatory Introduction to the Sun: For beginners.

NASA’s Solar Missions: Good summary of the many satellites and missions NASA has.

NOAA Profile of Space Weather: A primer.

NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center Information Pages: Includes primers, videos, a curriculum and training modules.

Nova Sun Lab: Videos, scientist profiles, a research challenge related to the active Sun from the PBS science program.

Space Weather: Storms on the Sun: An illustrated booklet from NOAA.

Stanford Solar Center: An excellent site with information for students and teachers.


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

NASA Space Weather:

Solaris Alpha:


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 Impacts: Video from NOAA (2:47); Videos from the National Weather Service (four short videos) (14:41).

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).

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).

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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