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  • Hey, there. I'm Maren Hunsberger.

  • I'm a science communicator and host for Seeker.

  • And this is the Light Speed Learning Playlist,

  • all about solar energy.

  • You probably found your way here

  • by way of Seeker's awesome documentary series

  • with YouTube Originals

  • on the 2019 World Solar Challenge.

  • In that series, you'll get a chance

  • to join Veritasium's Derek Muller

  • on the ground in Australia with Seeker,

  • where 44 teams from around the world

  • compete in an incredible race across the Outback.

  • Teams of engineers and innovators

  • push their limits in their one-of-a-kind solar race cars

  • to cut across roughly 3,000 kilometers of desert

  • from Darwin to Adelaide, powered by the sun.

  • This is a tough race.

  • It is the premiere,

  • most difficult solar race in the world.

  • MAREN: It's got hot racing action,

  • pun intended,

  • daredevil driving, uncontrolled spin-outs,

  • and fiery crashes.

  • -It's got tears and triumph. -[ALL CHEERING]

  • And it features loads of innovative technology

  • from the latest solar arrays

  • to top-secret batteries,

  • to innovative aerodynamic design...

  • Which brings us to this Learning Playlist,

  • where we take a deeper dive

  • into the science and technology

  • behind the World Solar Challenge.

  • That's right. Over the next seven chapters,

  • with some help from Derek,

  • we are going to learn all about nuclear fusion,

  • understand how solar panels turn sunlight into energy,

  • go under the hood of a solar race car,

  • break down batteries and build better ones,

  • dig into aerodynamics

  • and finally, explore the future

  • of solar vehicles.

  • After watching the Light Speed Learning Playlist,

  • you'll be one of the foremost experts on solar power

  • from start to finish.

  • Or at the very least,

  • you'll have a pretty solid understanding of

  • how it all works.

  • And just a heads up, each chapter of our playlist

  • will build on the previous chapter.

  • So, although you can skip ahead,

  • and you're welcome to watch the playlist

  • in whatever order you choose,

  • you'll probably wanna watch in the order we've laid out.

  • So, let's start with a little brief

  • on what we know about the sun so far.

  • Travel back in time with me to sometime around 1223 BCE.

  • The oldest known record of a solar eclipse

  • is from around this time,

  • and was found in the ancient city of Ugarit,

  • in what is now modern day Syria.

  • Since then, our methods for studying the sun

  • have grown more and more sophisticated.

  • Now, it's kind of mind-blowing to realize that

  • up until a few decades ago,

  • our knowledge of the sun only came from observations

  • made from here on Earth,

  • which is approximately 150 million kilometers away.

  • And then came the Space Age.

  • In a little over six decades,

  • we've sent more than 8,000 satellites into space.

  • And there have been several important missions

  • undertaken specifically to help us

  • get a better understanding of our sun,

  • including the Ulysses mission,

  • the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory,

  • or SOHO,

  • The Genesis mission, Hinode,

  • and IRIS,

  • the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph.

  • These missions, along with several others,

  • allowed us to get

  • a much deeper understanding of our sun.

  • They gave scientists the opportunity

  • to collect an actual sample of the solar wind,

  • measure the sun's magnetic fields,

  • and uncover how solar material moves

  • through the sun's atmosphere.

  • More recently,

  • NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe.

  • The mission being to touch the sun

  • by flying into its corona,

  • that's the outermost part

  • of the sun's atmosphere,

  • providing us with a better understanding

  • of how heat and energy

  • move through the sun's corona

  • and what accelerates solar wind.

  • And even more recently,

  • the European Space Agency and NASA

  • launched the Solar Orbiter

  • to answer our fundamental question

  • about how the sun is able to create

  • and control the space environment

  • throughout our solar system.

  • Both of these missions

  • will get within Mercury's orbit, too.

  • And the Parker Solar Probe will get as close as

  • 6.16 million kilometers to the sun,

  • which I know may not sound very close,

  • but keep in mind, that means that the Solar Probe

  • will be too close to the sun to directly image it.

  • Thanks to centuries of observations,

  • we actually know a lot about our sun.

  • We know that it's a yellow dwarf star

  • whose gravity helps

  • hold our solar system together.

  • We know its size,

  • we know that it's a giant ball of gas

  • composed mostly of hydrogen and helium,

  • which, when combined,

  • make up more than 98% of its mass.

  • And we even have a widely-accepted theory

  • for how the sun formed,

  • out of the collapse of that same giant,

  • rotating cloud of gas and dust

  • that formed the rest of our solar system.

  • But it's only been within the last 100 years

  • that we've come to understand

  • how the sun generates its power,

  • by a complicated process known as fusion,

  • which pretty much sustains all life on our planet.

  • To learn more about this amazing process,

  • stick around for the next chapter

  • of our Learning Playlists,

  • where we break down exactly how

  • the sun generates so much energy.

Hey, there. I'm Maren Hunsberger.

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B1 solar sun playlist race solar system probe

Introducing Light Speed: Powered by the Sun

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/06
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