Media work




In addition to my research I also work in TV and radio. I have contributed to many programmes on BBC 1, BBC News 24, ITV and BBC World including GMTV, the Xchange, the One Show and Material World. I co-presented the Stardate series on the BBC with Adam Hart-Davis and the Transit of Venus Horizon special.


As well as my solar physics research I also work in TV and radio. For media enquiries please contact Sue Rider Management.

I have a broad interested in communicating the latest space science and astronomy research and recently had the pleasure of joining the BBC's Sky at Night team. One particular area of interest for me is discussing how emissions from the Sun can lead to changes in the Earth's magnetic field and upper atmosphere, causing space weather. My BBC Radio 4 programme on space weather and what it means for us in the UK can be heard here.

Recently, I had the pleasure of being on the Radio 4 show the Infinite Monkey Cage where we discussed end of the world scenarios and the role that astronomy may play in this! Click here to download the podcast. You can see me talking about the Sun and solar missions at the BFI as part of their Film Science season. Click here.

In 2009 I observed the longest total solar eclipse of the century from a cruise ship on the Pacific Ocean. During our days at sea I gave talks about solar physics and the search for planets around other stars.

My media work has included reporting on the Final Frontier programmes and co-presenting the BBC/Open University Stardate series which covered some of the major events in astronomy and space physics during that time. The programmes were made by Screenhouse Productions and covered:

Transit of Venus: On 6 June 2004 a large crowd gathered at the Royal Observatory Greenwich to watch the tiny back disc of Venus pass in front of the glaring disc of the Sun. This was an incredible, and rare, event which presented astronomers with a method to work out the much sought after size of the Solar System 300 years ago. This programme won the Royal Television Society's Life Long Learning and Multimedia Award for the opportunities it gave viewers to join the event and make their own Sun-Earth distance measurements. The next transit of Venus will be in 2012.

Close Encounters: On 29 September 2004 a large asteroid called Toutatis made a close encounter with the Earth on its way through the Solar System. The Earth wasn't in any danger but it gave scientists a great opportunity to study this interesting asteroid.

Mission to Titan: On 13 January 2005 the European Space Agency made a successful landing on Saturn's largest moon Titan with the Huygens probe. Stardate was at the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, for the nail biting event as the probe descended throught the thick atmosphere of Titan relaying data to it's mothership Cassini. The data returned were truely spectactular.

Comet Impact: On 5 July 2005 NASA succeeded in colliding a washing machine-sized probe into the side of comet Tempel 1 in a mission to learn more about the origins of our Solar System. Telescopes all around the world as well as telescopes in space observed the event.