Astronomy Online: Solar Storms

Part of Astronomy Online

Friday, October 2, 2020

Rendering of a solar storm.
What risks do solar storms pose for astronauts in space? 

Join Carter Emmart, the Museum’s director of astrovisualization, and Leila Mays, deputy director of the Community Coordinated Modeling Center at NASA Goddard, to explore how scientists protect astronauts from space weather and why our Sun’s dynamic activity affects human space travel. Bring your questions for our presenters and for Kathryn Whitman and Phil Quinn of NASA Johnson Space Center's Space Radiation Analysis Group (SRAG), and Jon Linker of Predictive Science, Inc., who will be answering your questions live in the chat.

Emilie Ho and Christian Adamsson from Linköping University pilot our up-close encounter with powerful solar storms and eruptive solar flares in the OpenSpace platform. 

Watch a recording of the livestream below, first aired on October 2, 2020. Or check out the complete playlist of Astronomy Online events.

About the Presenters

Dr. Leila Mays is the deputy director of the Community Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research interests include modeling the heliosphere and solar energetic particles, performing model verification, and forecasting space weather. She received her BS degree from the University of Maryland College Park, and PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Creation of this solar storms program was made possible in part by funding under the project “Quantifying the Risk of Extreme Solar Eruptions” (QUEST) in the National Science Foundation’s Prediction of and Resilience against Extreme Events (PREEVENTS) program and by the Community Coordinated Modeling Center Space Weather Research, Education and Development Initiative (REDI), also funded by the National Science Foundation.

Science results described in the show supported by NASA under the LWS, HSR, and SBIR/STTR programs, and by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Scientific contributors: Jon Linker, Tibor Torok, Ronald Caplan, Cooper Downs, Roberto Lionello, Pete Riley, and Viacheslav Titov (Predictive Science Inc.); Nathan Schwadron, Matthew Young, and Matthew Gorby (University of New Hampshire)

CCMC contributors: Emilie Ho and Christian Adamsson (Linköping University and CCMC master’s students), Masha Kuznetsova (magnetosphere scientist and CCMC Director), Leila Mays (CCMC SEP scientist and CCMC Deputy Director), Elon Olsson (CCMC OpenSpace developer), Lutz Rastaetter (CCMC geospace scientist). Peter Macneice (CCMC Solar scientist). Magnetosphere simulation: Space Weather Modeling Framework (University of Michigan).

OpenSpace team contributors: Lovisa Hassler, Alexander Bock, Jonathan Grangien, Matthias Berg, Oskar Carlbaum and Michael Novén.

NASA Johnson Space Center Space Radiation Analysis Group contributors: Janet Barzilla, Phil Quinn, Michael Cook, Clayton Allison (Leidos) and Katie Whitman (University of Houston).