‘Sun Storm’ premieres 9 p.m., Dec. 30 on Discovery Channel’s CURIOSITY series
The sun is entering a new phase of violent activity and massive storms could devastate our society.
A direct hit from a big solar storm could take out everything we rely on in our technological-driven world – from communications to banking to our water supply. But what do we really know about the sun and its inner workings? And are we prepared for the next major storm?
In a visual first, “Sun Storm,” airing Sunday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m., EST/PST on Discovery Channel’s CURIOSITY series, will create a virtual sun using the latest scientific data from telescopes on earth and in space combined with the latest CG imaging techniques. The episode will follow one the world’s top astronomers on an expedition – from the sun’s nuclear engine at its heart to its surface and beyond.
Experts fear that a solar super storm is long overdue and there is a chance that some extreme space weather event could occur within the next couple of years.
“It’s the sun’s colossal size that makes it so dangerous to us,” said astronomer Phil Plait, who goes deep inside the virtual sun’s core and through its atmospheres. “Giant sunspots could unleash a super storm. The loops shooting out can reach hundreds of thousands of miles into space. And when one explodes, it’s like ten billion nuclear bombs detonating all at once.”
In 1859, Earth was hit by a super storm that was greater than anything we’ve known in our recent history. The light show was so vast it was seen all the way from the Arctic to the Caribbean. The fear is it could happen again, and soon.
In this latest episode, CURIOSITY taps some of the leading experts in the field to explore what’s really happening with the sun and what could be expected when the next solar super storm hits.
“Sun Storm” is produced by Big Wave Productions for Discovery Channel. CURIOSITY is overseen by Vice President, Development and Production Howard Swartz and Senior Vice President, Development and Production Simon Andreae.