75CFDA33-4183-4D54-9393-81C6E28FAAD9 Created with sketchtool. The Sun, our nearest star (1981)

Play icon

The Sun, our nearest star (1981)


  Last updated March 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm

The Sun is typical of millions of stars in our galaxy, but it is the only one close enough to been seen in any detail. At Culgoora, 650 kilometres north-west of Sydney, CSIRO scientists are studying the Sun and its atmosphere, using both radio and optical instruments. The main optical instrument is a 30 centimetre high-resolution telescope which is used to study the physical processes in the Sun's atmosphere. Also at Culgoora is the radio-heliograph, a unique instrument consisting of a ring of 96 aerials, each 13.5 metres across, spaced around a circle 3 kilometres in diameter. It produces images of the Sun at four different frequencies and provides much information about activity in the corona - the Sun's vast outer atmosphere. The Sun affects our earthly environment in many ways. It is a giant thermo-nuclear furnace, a unique laboratory in space, in which physicists can study the interaction of hot ionized gases and strong magnetic fields.


Published By

Science and technology is as much a part of our cultural fabric as art, music, theatre and literature. They play a significant role in our daily lives, yet, in a world dependent on science, we often take them for granted. Australia’s Science Channel believes every citizen has a right, and a responsibility, to be informed, and our mission is to create programs to bring that about.