A Trip to Space

A Trip to Space

Episode 4: A Trip to the Sun

May 18, 2021

This week on A Trip to Space we take a Trip to the Sun, exploring the where, why, how hot and what for of our own host star – a G-type main-sequence star at the centre of the solar system that formed 4.6 billion years ago.

The Sun is often described as a yellow dwarf, but while it falls into the dwarf category, in visible light it is more white than yellow. It reaches temperatures of 5,780 Kelvin on the surface and 15,000,255 Kelvin in the core.

This week on the show we look at the European Space Agency Solar Orbiter spacecraft, explore coronal mass ejections, why the corona is so hot and why the solar wind is still hot when it reaches the Earth.

Among the features explored in this episode is a report into two massive Coronal Mass Ejections detected by the Solar Orbiter and a piece from NASA on what a CME is.

I also explore why the solar wind that reaches the Earth is so hot – it’s to do with turbulence and magnetic fields – including an interview with the senior researcher on a project.

Finally, to finish things off – what is it that makes the sun so hot? Hint …. campfires.