Title: Our Most Important Star
Out of billions of stars that surround our planet on its timeless journey through the Universe, Sun is the most important star of all. Someone may say that it is just an ordinary star: it is not the largest, it is not the brightest, nor it is the oldest. However, our closeness to Sun provides us a breathtaking view of physical processes taking place in atmosphere of our main star. Solar activity waxes and wanes with 10-11 year cycles, and with it, we see sunspots and solar flares coming and going. Sun emits a steady flow of material, called solar wind, but it also produces gigantic eruptions suddenly thrusting solar matter into surrounding interplanetary space. When they reach Earth, these coronal mass ejections may cause havoc in our technological systems including communication satellites and electric power grids. Similar processes occur on other stars, and thus, Sun serves as our giant stellar “laboratory”, where we can take a close peek at many processes taking place on distant, hard to observe stars.
Speaker: Prof. Alexei Pevtsov, National Solar Observatory, USA / University of Oulu, Finland
Last updated: 30.3.2017