The sun is the only star that we can study directly but it is so completely ubiquitous, so intrinsic to life and culture, that we are effectively blind to it. It's time for a new look. Just as the telescope made the universe conceivable so new satellite borne instruments are allowing us to look at a sun that we have never seen before. For the first time we really can study a star in full spate as it builds up to its next peak of violence - the solar maximum of the year 2000/2001.
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