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Our Sun – the inside story and more

Our Sun – the inside story and more By – Nov 13, 2013 1 0 SHARE

Princeton-based physicist Dr Shravan Hanasoge will explain what recent research has revealed about the inner workings of our life-sustaining and closest star, the Sun, at an upcoming public lecture.

The free talks, hosted regularly by the Monash Centre for Astrophysics (MoCA), feature top astrophysics researchers who explain the mysteries of space to interested members of the public. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions following the talks.

Dr Hanasoge, who studied at Stanford and spent time at Monash as a visiting scholar, is an expert in helioseismology – the stellar version of the more Earthly seismology.

Just as seismolology allows scientists to ‘see’ the interior of the Earth through the measurement of vibrations at the surface (caused by earthquakes for example), helioseismology allows astrophysicists to peer inside our neighbouring star which, as Dr Hanasoge explains, is vibrating like a great ball of jelly.

Dr Hanasoge will also discuss amazing observations at the surface of the Sun, ranging from violent solar eruptions to mysteriously long-lived sunspots, all taken by NASA’s billion-dollar satellite, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).The SDO was launched in 2010 to better understand the sun and how solar variations affect life on Earth.

An organiser of the of public lecture series, MoCA’s Dr Simon Campbell said that studying the sun could give insights into phenomena throughout the universe

“Most stars are so distant from us we only see them as bright pinpoints in the night sky, and it is thus difficult to study them. Luckily our most important star is quite close, so we can easily study it in great detail,” Dr Campbell said.

“Although the Sun is considered an ‘average’ star it turns out there is a lot happening both on its surface and in its interior. We are fortunate to have Dr Hanasoge here to explain the latest scientific advances in the understanding our life-sustaining star.”

Dr Hanasoge will deliver “Living with a Star” at 6.30pm, Thursday 10 October, 2013 Lecture Theatre S3, Building 25, Monash University Clayton campus. No registration is necessary.

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