Public Lecture

Title: Our life-giving star, the Sun and its dark side
Speaker: Nat Gopalswamy
Affiliation: Solar Physics Laboratory, Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Date: 23rd February, 6:30 PM

We all know that life thrives on Earth because the Sun shines. All the food and fuel we have on Earth are from the Sun’s energy received in the form of light and heat. Sun has also another side, which adversely affects life on Earth. Scientists are involved in understanding this dark side of the Sun under a subject known as space weather. The dark side is represented by the mass emission from the Sun in form of coronal mass ejections and solar wind that gush into space with speeds exceeding several hundred kilometers per second. In particular, coronal mass ejections can disturb Earth’s magnetosphere for days and produce energetic particle storms that can affect human technology in space and on the ground. This talk focuses on the bright and dark sides of the Sun.

Nat Gopalswamy

About the Speaker: Dr. Nat Gopalswamy is an Astrophysicist with the Solar Physics Laboratory, Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He is an internationally recognized expert in coronal mass ejections and their space weather consequences, with a deep interest in understanding how the solar variability impacts Earth. He has over 30 years of experience in solar-terrestrial research, working on projects such as SOHO, Wind, STEREO, and SDO. He is also a solar radio astronomer working on thermal and nonthermal radio emission from the Sun using data the Clark Lake Radioheliograph, the Very Large Array, and the Nobeyama Radioheliograph. Currently he is involved in enhancing the traditional coronagraphy by the technique of passband ratio imaging. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 scientific articles and has edited nine books. He is currently the President of ICSU’s Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) and the Executive Director of the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI). Over the last three decades, that curiosity has led him to several notable discoveries and prestigious accolades — the most recent being the John C. Lindsay Memorial Award, the highest honor for space science at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His scientific leadership has landed him the prestigious NASA Leadership Medal in 2013. He is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.