Main content

Emma Bunce on the gas giants

Prof Emma Bunce tells Jim Al-Khalili why she is intrigued by the gas giants Jupiter and Neptune, and why astronomers need to be patient as missions to the planets aren't frequent.

Emma Bunce, Professor of Planetary Plasma Physics at the University of Leicester, was inspired to study the solar system as a child by a TV programme that featured Voyager 2’s flyby of Neptune. She has spent the last 20 years focusing on the magnetic fields around the outer planets, in particular that of Jupiter. The Earth’s magnetic field interacts with the solar wind to create aurorae, the spectacular Northern lights. Emma’s discovered how aurorae are also produced at Jupiter's poles.
Emma Bunce talks to Jim al-Khalili about her fascination with the gas giants, why she has to be patient to check out her theories as missions to the planets are few and far between and how she'd love to work on a spacecraft to Neptune. And in the year when the Royal Astronomical Society marks its 200th anniversary, Emma explains why she's taken on the role of its President.

Available now

28 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Tue 9 Jun 2020 09:00
  • Tue 9 Jun 2020 21:30

Is your mind a machine?

Is your mind a machine?

Daniel Dennett thinks so. Here is what we learned from his Life Scientific.

Podcast