We are joined by solar physicist Dr. Ian O’Neill of Discovery News and astroengine.com as we discuss solar flares, coronal mass ejections, the Carrington event, red giants and white dwarfs, and tornadoes on the sun! All this plus pop culture.

Music: “You Are My Sunshine” Gene Autry

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Showing 12 comments
  • zuzu

    zero kelvin = – 273 Celsius, not -225 🙂

  • John Peacock

    Mr. Burns: “Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun.”

  • banks!

    Sorry Kev, if you flipped the poles, we’d still have roughly the same temperatures (assuming the flipping of the poles didn’t mess up the Earth’s status quo in regards to axis, orbit, etc). Bikini weather has a lot more to do with moving closer to the equator.

  • Rico

    Another great episode guys, and I am also impressed with the caliber of guests coming onto the show.

  • Emily

    I would like to offer up a little constructive criticism? …and maybe it’s just me–in which case, please disregard. Your guest has a very sharp, piercing “S” sound… perhaps because of the microphone or the digital filtering or something, but it made it almost impossible to listen to. 🙁 If you have him on again, perhaps there’s a way you could soften it by running it through the digital wringer?

    I love your show, so don’t take offense, guys!!! I’ll keep listening faithfully every week.

    • Toren

      Unfortunately with skype, we must rely on the recording technology that our guest has at the other end of the internet. We record in-studio with guests whenever possible but for sun expertise no one can beat Dr. Ian. Sadly I’m not very well trained at the editing suite, there was probably something I could have done to de-sharpen the S sound, but I don’t know what that is. If any pro-editors want to volunteer to help us out, we’re open to suggestions, as long as those suggestions are not pointing to a software website or stating “get a Mac.” That’s what I usually get on Facebook and it puts me into a frustration coma.

  • Jon Paynter

    I love the eerie music that goes along with the sun tornado video – makes it seem like a specter or deadly ghost! Spoooooooky!

    Great show guys.

  • Derek

    If you want to experience sheer annoyance with lack of physics, check out Battleship, which I saw with a mate the other day. He’s still not speaking to me. So many stupid, stupid points. A radio signal is sent to a star light years away, from which a spacecraft arrives within 6 months (aargh!), and the boilers on the USS Missouri (which hasn’t left dock in decades) were brought up and boiling within 3 hours (aarrgghhh again!). I left my brain at the door, but my mate didn’t and now it’s broken and he blames me. What can I do, Auntie Soda?

  • Derek

    Great, very informative ep, btw. I never knew that stuff about the temperature of the corona. Amazing. 🙂 Props to the mention of Doctor Who too.

  • Fred

    A lot of the destructive topics in this podcast are covered in this PBS Nova episode, “Secrets of the Sun”, along with some amazing video and graphics:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/secrets-sun.html

  • curtis

    I dunno if this would fall into ‘cults’ more than ‘sun’ but there are apparently idiots around the world convinced by some India guru that you can survive on just staring into the sun instead of… you know… eating and drinking. A documentary that I saw the trailer for showed a bunch of skinny people going on about their spiritual enlightenment (and how at least one of them was getting progressively blinder) through just staring into the sun instead of eating.

    alas now that i have listened to this episode i cannot find the trailer. the last part is a snark worthy older new agey woman going ‘people say it’s crazy. but is it possible? hmm? why don’t you see for yourself!’

    to make this Caustic worthy, this nonsense has claimed at least one life, possibly more.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/sunlight-fast_n_1451444.html

  • Derek Weber

    A nice brief summary of some of the biggest solar flares noted in the last couple of centuries: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-12/how-solar-storms-affect-earth/5740454