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Cafe Scientifique - The Sun up close: solar probes to unravel its mysteries

17th July 2018

Cafe Scientifique - The Sun up close: solar probes to unravel its mysteries

The Sun is a magnetically active star that displays many exciting phenomena, particularly when observed from space in the invisible wavelengths of Extreme Ultraviolet and X-rays: active regions, flares, huge mass eruptions, stealth solar wind. Soon, two new spacecraft, Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe, will be sent into unique orbits, getting closer to the Sun than ever before. This talk will illustrate what we expect to learn about the Sun’s dynamic outer atmosphere - the corona, its extremely hot temperatures, the origin of solar wind from coronal holes, and how the Sun causes “space weather” in the heliosphere.

Dr Andre Fludra is a solar physicist and the Head of the Solar Group at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). He has 35 years’ experience of studying the Sun with imaging telescopes and spectrometers onboard space missions. His early memorable role was involvement in an X-ray spectrometer on a Japanese satellite Yohkoh. Between 1996 - 2004 he led a team at NASA operating a UK instrument onboard the SOHO mission – he was a Project Scientist and later became the Principal Investigator. He currently leads the development of a new spectrometer, SPICE, for the ESA’s Solar Orbiter.


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