Photostory #370: Canada's Scientific Sun-Watchers Maintain Space Vigil: Flare Patrol For Astronauts

Chris Lund , Dominion Observatory
National Film Board of Canada
Release Date
August 11, 1964
CMCP fonds
Credit Line
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives
Main Text
As the searing noon-day sun scorches desolate Arabian sands two observers in the big dome of the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa lock onto it with a specially-designed photographic recorder. For them it is another early-morning start to a daily vigil from sunrise to afternoon during which their equipment tracks the sun's passage from the Red Sea, over the vastness of North Africa and the Atlantic Ocean and across North America. Part of an international study of the unceasing activities of the sun, the results of this photographic recording of our life-giving star, 93,000,000 miles away, will provide man with greater knowledge of the tremendous nuclear forces constantly flaring in turmoil amid its mass. From these studies a pattern may be found by which future astronauts may be warned of lethal radiation storms emanating from the sun at astronomical speeds and how interference with communications may be overcome. Canada's Flare Patrol, with full cooperation by the United States, is another example of shared international studies as technological advances open the door for mankind's physical entrance into the mysteries of space.