Earth versus Sun: a precarious relationship in space

Guest Speaker

Thursday, 5th May 2022 (19:45 - 22:00)

Venue: Virtual Meeting

The Sun and Earth's close but tumultuous relationship dominates space around our planet. We're all familiar with one outcome of this interaction: stunning aurora displays, but additional repercussions include currents created in long-distance connections, signal loss, and spacecraft damage. These phenomena are collectively referred to as "space weather." For our technology-dependent culture, understanding the space weather is critical. In this session, we'll look at how our planet's magnetic field protects us from the Sun's solar wind. As the solar wind becomes stronger, weaker, or changes direction, we'll see how the Earth's magnetic field is buffered and transformed. By taking the first photographs of the solar-terrestrial interaction, the SMILE spacecraft will shortly revolutionise our perspective of near-Earth space. Near-Earth space is tremendously dynamic and volatile, and we can see this drama unfold right above our heads.

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer A. Carter

Jenny Carter is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin fellow in the Planetary Sciences group at the Department in Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester. 

Jenny received her MSci in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Bristol in 2002, and her Ph.D. in 2011 from Leicester. Jenny is heavily involved in preparations for the SMILE mission, which is due for launch in 2024. 

She is leading efforts to combine observations from ground and space-based experimentation in conjunction with SMILE. Jenny is an alumna of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Rising Talents UK & Ireland physical sciences award 2020. She was awarded the Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture 2021.

Jenny is also passionate about the public engagement of science and making science a part of everyone’s culture.

Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society is a Registered Charity in England & Wales, Registered Charity No 1064103.

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