SPEAKER: Dr. Karel Schrijver
Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow
Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Lab
Topic: Living with the Stars
TIME: 8:00pm March 6th, 2015
WHERE: CSM Planetarium Bldg 36, Free Parking in Lot 5
. Free and open to the public
We are quite literally not who we were years, weeks, or even days before. The stuff that makes our body is being replaced all the time, from the chemicals in our cells to the very cells themselves. What lasts is not our literal substance but rather a pattern that is renewed with elements captured from the surrounding biosphere. The newly integrated material that replaced what was lost connects our body directly to animals and plants that contribute to our food and to the bacteria within us that help digest it. All of these depend on the energy of light released in the nuclear furnace deep inside the Sun combined with the carbon dioxide that cycles through the Earth’s atmosphere, originating in volcanic eruptions and being released in the burning of fossil fuels made from beings in the distant past. Mixed in with that are radioactive atoms that are caused by stellar explosions across the Galaxy and from the decay of atoms deep inside the Earth. All that makes us, and all that exists around us, is tied to the stardust released in the death throes of ancient stars and ultimately to the formation of the universe itself.
Karel Schrijver's research focuses on the magnetic activity of the Sun, the coupling of the Sun's magnetic field into the heliosphere and its solar wind, and the manifestations of magnetic activity of other Sun-like stars. In addition to scientific research, he is actively involved in developing and operating space instrumentation: he is currently the Principal Investigator for the the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of the Solar Dynamics Observatory; as Senior Fellow at the LM Advanced Technology Center, he is involved in defining and developing instrumentation for potential future heliophysics missions.