What would happen if the sun took out our electrical power grid for an entire year? It may sound like the plot of a sci-fi movie, but this doomsday scenario could actually happen. Despite its calm appearance, the sun is a violent place, constantly releasing huge masses of energy known as coronal mass ejections. These storms have hit the earth before. The last big one struck more than 150 years ago in the Victorian era taking out worldwide telegraph service. The impact of a similar storm would be far more destructive in our modern age of hyper-connected telecommunication and total reliance on electricity and electronics. Fortunately, scientists and engineers are building the world’s largest solar telescope and launching the first ever spacecraft to fly to the sun to help us predict these potentially devastating events – and prepare for them.
Premiering as the centerpiece of Science Channel Weekend on Discovery Channel, THE DARK SIDE OF THE SUN tells the story of our growing awareness of the true nature of our star, its critical importance to all life on Earth, and its potentially harmful effects on modern civilization. Narrated by Grammy®- and Emmy®-winning and Oscar®-nominated artist Sting.