When will the next large solar storm impact the earth? In this documentary produced for Terra Mater Factual Studios, director Manfred Christ gets up close and personal with the only star in our immediate vicinity. He examines the largest solar storm in history, which shook the earth in 1859, and presents both the earliest days of solar research and today’s high-tech approaches.
The film features truly incredible images captured by the newest generation of space probes, as well as a visit to Europe’s largest solar telescope in Tenerife and to the facility which is producing the probe that will draw nearer to the sun than ever before. The journey continues to the world headquarters of the sunspot observers in Brussels and the Kanzelhöhe Observatory in Carinthia, one of the birthplaces of modern solar research. The astronomer Stuart Clark provides insights into the history of solar research, while the mathematician Valentina Zharkova predicts that solar activity will fall by 60 percent in the coming decades. The veracity of this claim and the impact that such a reduction may potentially have on the earth’s climate is the subject of animated debate. Camera: Mike Fried, Editor: Jörg Achatz, Music: Roman Kariolou