Solar_Superstorms_LogoNarrated 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 new supercomputing initiative, Blue Waters, based at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois.

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

A co-production of Spitz Creative Media, NCSA's Advanced Visualization Lab, and Thomas Lucas Productions, in association with 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; funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

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


· Audience Award, IPS Fulldome Festival Brno 2016
· Award Winner, Jena Fulldome Festival 2016
· Honorable Mention, IFF 2015, Espinho, Portugal


· Spanish, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, German, French, English (UK), Dutch, Czech, Arabic, others on request.

For more information, including availability, pricing, and formats


Spitz Press Release
NCSA Press Release
Images and Captions
Poster Artwork
Educator Guide

Read about it at:

InPark Magazine
NSF News
Popular Science
NCSA's Advanced Visualization Lab




Solar Superstorms Trailer.


Solar Superstorms excerpt: Solar Plasma Interacting with Earth's Magnetic Field

A turbulent pulse of solar plasma interacts with Earth's magnetic field in one of the largest solar computer models ever produced. Numerical model by Homa Karimabadi, University of California, San Diego. Visualization by Advanced Visualization Lab (D. Cox, R. Patterson, S. Levy, A. Christensen, K. Borkiewicz, J. Carpenter) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois.


Solar Superstorms excerpt: Prelude to Carrington Event

The first signs of one of the largest solar storms on record, known as the Carrington Event, become visible in the Colorado Rocky Mountains as day dissolves to night.


Solar Superstorms excerpt: ISS visualization

When auroras crown our atmosphere, they may stretch hundreds of kilometers into space. Imagine being able to see them spread far and wide before you from the International Space Station.