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Afternoon Astronomy Coffee Hangout 22 March

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 17:27

"Shock Waves from the Sun: Space Weather in 3-D"

Eruptions from the Sun cause auroras and are the drivers of space weather throughout the solar system. Creating beautiful nighttime displays on Earth and interesting features in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, space weather can also disrupt communications on Earth and cause damage to power-grid equipment on the ground and satellites in orbit. But understanding space weather is complex; it requires a three-dimensional understanding of the magnetic structure of solar eruptions and how they propagate outwards. How is that achieved? A team of researchers is combining data from several spacecraft spread around Earth's orbit and constructing 3-D computer models to examine what happens when an ejection occurs and creates a shock wave. In particular, they are examining data from ESA/NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the twin Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) satellites.

Join regular hosts Tony Darnell and Carol Christian during Afternoon Astronomy Coffee on Thursday, 22 March, at 3:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time as they discuss with Angelos Vourlidas (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab) and Ryun Young Kwon (George Mason University) how they visualize the Sun's coronal mass ejections and what significance such events have for solar system weather.

During the hangout, you can take part in the live chat and join the conversation on Twitter with #AstroCoffee. An archive of previous hangouts in this series may be found in the Deep Astronomy YouTube playlist.

Afternoon Astronomy Coffee

What Are "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" and "Future in Space" Hangouts?

"Future In Space” and "Afternoon Astronomy Coffee" Hangouts are part of a weekly series, held every Thursday, that also includes a segment called "Footsteps to Mars." We bring the the latest research in astronomy, highlights from the future of space astronomy and astronautics planning, as well as updates on the exploration of Mars to you every week via Hangouts on Air. With the sponsorship of both the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the American Astronautical Society (the other AAS), our hosts Tony Darnell, Carol Christian, Alberto Conti, and Harley Thronson examine today's breakthroughs in research and peer into the unfolding possibilities of what we may learn about the universe and Mars exploration. We join with members of the American Astronomical Society to chat, in an informal online setting modeled after "science coffee" events held in universities and research organizations across the country. We will examine what we hope to learn about exoplanets, black holes, the early universe, quasars, and life in the universe along with what technologies might help us — and reflect upon the scientific endeavors occurring today that uncover amazing astrophysics and lay the groundwork for studies to come.

We will also explore the technology and engineering used today as well as possibilities for future space travel and research with members of both societies, and probe what our future in space may look like and how we might get there. We will examine the underlying technologies of space telescopes, orbiters, landers, and human space vehicles now and in the years to come. We will delve into topics that help us understand the possibilities and limitations of human space flight and eventual human colonization of other worlds.

We hope you can join us each month as we bring experts from both societies — people who think about and plan for our future in space — to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. We invite you to bring your questions and comments and get ready to learn about the amazing possibilities for the future of space astronomy and exploration.

Carol A. Christian
Astronomer
STScI and CEM
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