University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Space Physics Seminar

Tuesday, February 17th 2015
1:25 pm:
Space Physics Seminar in 435 Physics
Speaker: Dr. Lindsay Glesener, Space Science Lab, UCBerkeley
Subject: Exploring the Sun at high energies: progress and new instrumentation

The Sun provides a nearby case study in which to study plasma processes and high-energy astrophysical phenomena with high-resolution remote sensing combined with in-situ data and even multiviewpoint measurements — tools that are not available to study any object outside the solar system. In addition to basic physics research interests, understanding high-energy aspects of the Sun also has practical applications, since Earth-directed solar eruptive events can pose a danger to satellites, astronauts, and power grids. New, direct-focusing techniques are now available to study solar flares and eruptions using hard X-rays. The first generation of solar-dedicated hard X-ray focusing optics has recently flown on suborbital missions (rockets and balloons). And from low-Earth orbit, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Array (NuSTAR), a direct-focusing instrument designed to look at the faintest objects outside the solar system, has also produced detailed hard X-ray images of the Sun. This seminar will cover recent advances in high-energy solar flare physics and will present new instrumentation, with emphasis on NuSTAR solar observations and on the FOXSI solar sounding rocket.

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