Prof. Ramon E. Lopez, from the University of Texas at El Paso, appears during hours 2-4. He received his B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Illinois, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Space Physics from Rice University. Dr. Lopez, co-author of "Storms from the Sun," explores the emerging physical science of space weather and traces its increasing impact on a society that relies on space-based technologies. We are now in the midst of a solar maximum, he reported, the effects of which are expected to be felt all the way through the year 2004.
There is a satellite constantly monitoring the sun. Recently, there was a gigantic explosion on the sun-- 30 times the diameter of the Earth, but luckily it was not headed in our direction, Lopez detailed. They discuss the amazing photo that shows the explosion. Eruptions like this have been trouble in the past – destroying satellites and causing other electronic problems. They discuss how the sun can damage anyone going to Mars. There is virtually no solar protection on the Red Planet.
In hour 1, Art kicks off the show talking about a recent vacation he took in his RV, and the latest news headlines. He is then joined by Richard C. Hoagland, who reports on a phone call he had with a head scientist for NASA's Mars missions. Hoagland said he was able to make suggestions about specific areas of the planet to photograph.