15 million degrees: A journey to the centre of the Sun

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 3 May

The Theatre

This event has already taken place

  • Solar explosion timelapse.
    This image is a composite of 23 separate images
    spanning the period of January 11, 2015 to
    January 21, 2016.

    Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center / SDO / S. Wiessinger


Standard £14

Concession £10

Discounts for Ri Members

Event description

110 times wider than Earth; 15 million degrees at its core; an atmosphere so huge that Earth is actually within it: come and meet the star of our solar system.

Light takes eight minutes to reach Earth from the surface of the Sun. But its journey within the Sun takes hundreds of thousands of years. What is going on in there? What are light and heat? How does the Sun produce them and how on earth did scientists discover this? Since the Royal Institution was founded in 1799 our knowledge of the Sun has changed dramatically and much of the work was carried out at the Ri.

Join Lucie Green for an enlightening talk, taking you from inside the Sun to its surface and to Earth, to discover how the Sun works, how a solar storm can threaten the modern technology that society relies on and more of the latest research in solar physics.


Lucie Green is a Professor of Physics based at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL’s Department of Space and Climate Physics. She studies activity in the atmosphere of our nearest star, the Sun. In particular, she looks at immense magnetic fields in the Sun’s atmosphere which sporadically erupt into the Solar System.

Lucie is very active in public engagement with science, regularly giving public talks and appearing on TV shows like Sky at Night.


This event will be filmed and on the Ri Channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.

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