Posted on May 29th, 2009 No comments
Well, yesterday, I was greatly honoured to undertake an IM interview for the Discovery Channel Space Science (Discovery Space) thanks to my good friend and colleague, Dr. Ian O’Neill, who has become the new host there (I wait in anticipation of some great things happening at Discovery Space with Ian at the helm). This is his first interview at Discovery and I am very excited by its outcome. I have the transcript below (courtesy of Discovery Space) and it can also be found on Discovery Space here! Happy reading and please feel free to comment below…
Posted on April 20th, 2009 3 comments
Today (Monday 20 April 2009) saw the first day of JENAM/MIST/UKSP for EWASS with an official opening at a little after 09:00h BST following the pre-conference social opening yesterday evening (Sunday 19 April 2009). The opening ceremony started with a short introduction by the University of Hertfordshire’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Tim Wilson. Prof. Andy Fabian OBE FRS, President of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) then gave a brief summary of the RAS and commented on the current government’s support for science while introducing the next speaker (a parliamentary Minister).
Posted on April 19th, 2009 4 comments
So, I am again at another conference. This time however, it is one of a slightly different slant away from my main-stream space, solar, and heliospheric science relations to that of overall astronomy. Although, this conference does hold its fair share of such fields through a set of joint conference groups rolled into one. Yes, it’s none other than the Joint European National Astronomy Meeting (JENAM) here at the University of Hertfordshire, in England, GB. It’s actually on the de Havilland campus in Hatfield where everything is taking place. This also includes the British Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) National Astronomy Meeting (NAM), the United Kingdom Solar Physics (UKSP) meeting, and the Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST) meeting in which I am co-organiser of a joint session on heliospheres and astrospheres; and overall is part of the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) and the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) 2009…
Posted on April 8th, 2009 1 comment
This is an expanded version of my first astroengine.com guest article and is the first article to appear here; the topic on astroengine.com is “C.A.T. Scans of the Solar Wind”, and this is a more-detailed overview of that article…
The Computer Assisted Tomography (C.A.T.) technique has been used for many years now and is most well known for use on people where certain health conditions need more thorough, detailed, and deeper scans into the human body and the need for three-dimensional (3D) reconstructed imaging. However, similar such scans can also be used on the solar wind to discover the shapes and sizes of structures near Earth and throughout the inner heliosphere in three dimensions. These scans have been carried out for some time, pioneered in the most part by those at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences (CASS), University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in La Jolla, CA, U.S.A. in close-collabration with the Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory (STELab), Nagoya University, Toyokawa, Japan
The solar wind is an extension of the Sun’s corona and is the final part of the Sun’s “atmosphere”. It is best described as a supersonic outflow of coronal plasma (hot charged particles) out into interplanetary space and varies considerably in its density, velocity, and composition. The Sun’s magnetic field is “frozen-in” to the plasma as it travels out into the solar system, thus causing the solar wind to also have a magnetic field, and in addition, carries the explosive events of the Sun out into interplanetary space. These resulting features travelling out in the solar wind are known as transient events (in the broard sense); the most popularly defined being coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which can have various consequences at the Earth and on other planets such as by creating magnetic storms (at Earth, these are known as geomagnetic storms) and thus often resulting in magnificent displays of aurorae.
The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
A photograph of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from the mainland-Norway Tromsø EISCAT site in late October 2003 during the famous “Halloween Storms”, by Dr. Mario M. Bisi.