Forthcoming Seminar


Friday June 9th, 2017, 14:00


Immersed in the Solar Wind: The New Era of Solar Physics Space Missions

Dr. Angelos Vourlidas
Johns Hopkins University / APL

Sunlight feeds life on Earth while the solar wind buffets our magnetosphere, sometimes violently. It is no surprise that solar variability is a primary societal concern and subject of intense scientific research. For decades, however, progress on understanding the Sun-Earth connection has been hampered by the 'disconnected' nature of the observations; remote sensing of the near-Sun corona, in-situ sampling at Earth. The evolution of the solar wind and its more energetic transients in the inner heliosphere was accessible only through modelling. While the STEREO mission made great strides since 2007, the mechanisms of the generation and early evolution of the solar wind still elude us. This is about to change thanks to two unprecedented space missions, Solar Probe Plus (SPP) and Solar Orbiter, to be launched in 2018 and 2019, respectively. These missions are designed to attack the solar wind problem head-on with comprehensive suites of remote sensing and in-situ instruments. In this talk, I introduce the capabilities and science objectives of the SPP and SO missions and discuss the exciting science prospects in solar physics research in the next 10 years. SPP will be the first spacecraft to enter the atmosphere of a star, reaching within 6 million km from the solar surface. Solar Orbiter will be the first mission to image the Sun from outside the ecliptic plane. The instruments will tie together in-situ sampling and high contrast imaging from ‘within’ the solar corona with high resolution observations from space and ground. A new era in solar and space physics awaits us.


Στην αίθουσα διαλέξεων "Β. Ξανθόπουλος" στο Εργαστήριο Αστρονομίας, ΑΠΘ


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