Institute of Maths & Physics, Aberystwyth

Last updated: 26 October 2010

In this week's Science Cafe Adam Walton visits Aberystwyth University's Institute of Maths & Physics to meet scientists who specialise in the study of the Sun and it's influence on Earth and the other planets.

Broadcast Tuesday 26 October 7 PM, repeated Sunday 5 PM

Listen to the programme online

Adam standing in front of an image of the sun

Adam meets Dr Andy Breen, a senior lecturer in the solar system physics research group, who describes the nature of the Sun, the star at the centre of the solar system. It's a fairly typical star, and is therefore useful in giving scientists pointers to how other star and planet systems in the galaxy might work.

Adam also meets solar scientist Dr Mario Bisi who explains the phenomena of solar flares and coronal mass ejections and how they potentially impact on planet Earth. They are a product of the Sun's complex magnetic field.

Balázs Pintér who studies solar physics, particularly the interior of the Sun, tells Adam how the solar surface vibrates, and the role of acoustic waves (we hear an example of an acoustic wave, recorded by BISON the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network)

Adam dons 3D glasses for a chat about the innovative images that Aberystwyth has been working on. Three dimensional images of the Sun and the solar winds are providing scientists with new insight into how the solar system works.

We also hear from head of the Institute Professor Manuel Grande who outlines the influence that the Sun has had on our neighbours in space, Mars & Venus, including how Venus has out of control global warming, and the recent revelation that water seeps out into space from the atmosphere of Venus.


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