Solar Superstorms

Solar Superstorms Trailer from Spitz Inc on Vimeo.

Solar Superstorms Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch

A fury is building on the surface of the Sun – high-velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave that reaches 100,000 kilometers high, rising loops of electrified gas. What’s driving these strange phenomena? How will they affect planet Earth? Find the answers as we venture into the seething interior of our star. Solar Superstorms is a major new production that takes viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the Sun’s rage in dramatic flares, violent solar tornadoes, and the largest eruptions in the solar system: Coronal Mass Ejections.

The show features one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of the sun, including a series of groundbreaking scientific visualizations computed on the giant supercomputing initiative, Blue Waters, based at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois.

Brace yourself for the onslaught of the next ….Solar Superstorm.

A joint full-dome production by NCSA, University of Illinois | Thomas Lucas Productions | Spitz Creative Media, in association with the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado (Boulder).

This project has been made possible with support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Film Office, and with funding by the National Science Foundation.

Running time: 24 minutes

Solar Superstorms explores related content including:

  • The Earth-Sun relationship
  • Importance of magnetic fields in space
  • The nature of polar auroras
  • Space weather and the threat to communications and power networks
  • Monitoring solar behavior

Other distribution formats

Television distribution
TVF International: 4k - 25 minutes / HD - 50 minutes

Long-form web distribution
YouTube: Cosmic Journeys - Solar Superstorms HD - 44 minutes
Hulu: Cosmic Journeys - Solar Superstorms HD - 44 minutes
DirectTV 4K: Solar Superstorms 24 minutes. Dates/Times may vary depending upon your location.
Amazon Prime: Solar Superstorms Journey to the Center of the Sun HD - 44 minutes
Amazon.com: Solar Superstorms Journey to the Center of the Sun PAL Format DVD - 44 minutes
Full Dome Database: Solar Superstorms Full Dome version - 24 minutes

Short-form web distribution
YouTube: Rivers of Energy Inside the Sun 4K
YouTube: When A Solar Storm Engulfs Earth
Hulu: When a Solar Storm Engulfs Earth

Supplemental materials are available for download for educational purposes. Credit must be given to the researchers and visualization teams

4K Dome Images | 4K 16x9 Cutout Images | Visualization Credits | Visualization Documentation

EDUCATOR’S GUIDE for Solar Superstorms

SolarSuperstormsEducationGuide.pdf


Video Gallery

This video playlist contains 5 individual scenes linked on the right side of the player.

Photo Gallery


Solar Superstorms News

06.02.15: Universe Today, This Video About Solar Superstorms is Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and It Looks Awesome.
06.09.15: Fulldome Database, Solar Superstorms: How Big Data Feeds a Big Movie
06.23.15: Fulldome Database, New Fulldome Show from Spitz, “Solar Superstorms,” Ready to Brighten Planetariums Around the World
06.26.15: InPark Magazine, Benedict Cumberbatch Explores “Solar Superstorms” in First Completed CADENS Project...
06.29.15: NCSA, Computational science and data visualization take the spotlight in new Solar Superstorms documentary
06.30.15: Inside HPC, Solar Superstorms Documentary Powered by Blue Waters
06.30.15: National Science Foundation, Computational science and data visualization take the spotlight in new documentary
06.30.15: HPC Wire, NCSA Debuts “Solar Superstorms” Documentary
07.01.15: Popular Science, Journey Into The Sun's Guts With Benedict Cumberbatch As Your Guide
07.20.15: Hamburg Planetarium, Solar storms - spectacular powers in space