Watch Earth's magnetic shield protect the planet from a pelting by the solar wind. See how the sun's energy drives a remarkable planetary engine, the climate.
This video, originally created by NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio as part of a full-length planetarium film called "Dynamic Earth," was awarded first place in the video category in the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the journal Science and the National Science Foundation.
While the full movie highlights many aspects of the Earth's complexity, the contribution from the SVS depicts the vast scale of the sun's influence on the Earth, from the flowing particles of the solar wind and the fury of coronal mass ejections to the winds and currents driven by the solar heating of the atmosphere and ocean.
The data visualization in this excerpt represents a high point in the Scientific Visualization Studio's work in recent years to show "flows" -- ocean currents, winds, the movement of glaciers. Using data from sophisticated NASA models, the studio's visualizers have figured out how to illustrate the velocities of these natural phenomena.
Narrated by Liam Neeson, Dynamic Earth, produced and written by Thomas Lucas, has been shown around the world to an estimated viewership of 500,000.
This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11003
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