05/15/2015

Tracking Your Local (Space) Weather

17:26 minutes

Earlier this month, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spotted a massive solar flare, rated at class X2.7, erupting from the surface of the sun. Orbiting observatories have also been keeping an eye on a group of sunspots on the solar surface. Alex Young, the associate director for science in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explains how scientists monitor space weather, what kind solar activity some 92 million miles away can affect us here on Earth, and what’s known about the physics behind the sun’s behavior.

Segment Guests

Alex Young

Alex Young is associate director for science in the heliophysics science division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Meet the Producer

About Charles Bergquist

As Science Friday’s director, Charles Bergquist channels the chaos of a live production studio into something sounding like a radio program. Favorite topics include planetary sciences, chemistry, materials, and shiny things with blinking lights.