In honor of the hot weather and recent solstice, I decided to take a closer (but not direct) look at summer’s most conspicuous player: the sun.

NPR’s Science Friday show had a video feature a few weeks ago about sunspots. These bursts of plasma and flaring magnetic fields signal solar storms that can radiate all the way to Earth’s surface:

Scifri Videos: Solar Spotting.

With all that ultraviolet light piercing the atmosphere, it’s important to protect yourself. The FDA’s new rules shed a little light on the sunscreen market:

Explaining Sunscreen and the New F.D.A. Rules –

On my list of movies to see this summer is Queen of the Sun, the recent documentary directed and produced by Taggart Siegel. Colony collapse disorder, the unexplained mass disappearance of honeybees, threatens to spark a global ecological crisis. Check out the trailer here:

Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? | Trailer.

And thanks to diligent archaeologists, news about the Middle East and North Africa isn’t just about political unrest:

Pictures: Ancient “Solar Boat” Unearthed at Pyramids.

Now to screen up, get out there, and enjoy the sunshine.