Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 12th Apr 2008

The Science of the Sun

The Sun in 3D Viewed through STEREO (150px) (c) NASA - Animated by Yskyflyer

Solar Flares and the Sun's influence on our climate are the burning issues of this week's show.  We discover an explosion on the Sun so large that it cut global communications all over the world and rendered compasses useless.  Also, we'll be looking at the link between the sun and climate change and finding out how clouds could predict earthquakes.  Plus, in this week's news, we discover why some balls are really hard to catch we talk about the seahorses returning to the Thames.  And in Kitchen Science, Dave shows us how to light a bulb without wires - using only a balloon!  All this and more on The (naked) Science of the Sun...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 15:22 - Amateur Astronomers Assist Experts

    Here's a question: The universe is a big place and if you only have a small number of telescopes with which to look at it, and limited resources to analyse the data that you collect, inevitably lots of important questions will go unanswered. So how do you solve that problem? The...

  • 23:08 - How does a white surface reflect light?

    My daughter wants to know why it is that white surfaces reflect light and black surfaces absorb light?

  • 39:06 - Does an exploding star fuel a future star?

    I understand the sun gets its power from hydrogen fusion and gradually fusing together bigger and bigger atoms. Towards the end of its life and particularly if it goes supernova it blasts all of the heavier elements out into the surrounding space. Iíve often heard it said itís wh...

  • 41:47 - The Sun and Climate Change

    Is the sun responsible for our warming climate? Have we been blaming carbon dioxide, when our own sun is the guilty party? Terry Sloan thinks not...

  • 46:23 - Surviving in a Sealed Car

    I tend to drive with all the windows closed and the recirculation function engaged. This way I keep out the fumes and dust. The flip side is Iím breathing in re-circulated and progressively stale air. My question is, if the car were a perfectly sealed container, how big would ...

  • 54:07 - Why do sound recorders pick up electrical interference and radio stations?

    I send my students out into the field to do biology and ornithology recordings with parabolic reflectors near microphones so they can record the sound theyíre picking up. Every now and then a student returns with a recording on tape thatís picked up some music or a distant radio ...

  • 55:15 - Could a distant habitable planet no longer really exist?

    When weíre out looking for habitable planets in the universe, theyíre always a long, long way away so isnít it possible that by the time we actually see it or get to it Ė it might no longer be somewhere where itís worth living?



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