Saturday 1 May
Lecturer: Prof. dr. Christoph U. Keller (University of Leiden)
The Sun – Our Star
The Sun is our closest star, and the only astronomical object of relevance to life on Earth. It is the only star that we can study in great detail and even see inside it. The Sun is therefore of utmost importance to humanity, and understanding our own star is crucial to understand other stars in the universe. The lecture will present an overview of the solar interior and atmosphere, the energy production mechanism and how the Sun evolved over the last 4.5 billion years. Magnetic fields on the Sun have a profound influence on Earth and modern technology and humans in space, and the lecture will explain how the latest telescopes can observe these magnetic fields and how these magnetic fields ultimately affect Earth. Solar magnetic fields vary with an 11-year cycle, which in turn leads to similar cycles in northern lights and even the total solar energy received by the Earth. The lecture will end with a list of open research questions in solar physics.
Questions that will be answered:
– What does the inside of the Sun look like?
– Does the Sun change over time?
– What about the magnetic field of the Sun?
– Is there weather in space?
– What is the 11-year sunspot cycle?