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Las Cumbres Observatory Presents “The Spinning Sun, the Twirling Stars”
August 9 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
All stars rotate. The sun spins roughly once per month; some stars—ones that are otherwise similar to the sun—spin several times per day. It turns out that this huge difference is related to age: like people, young stars move faster than old ones. But why? A picture addressing this question is just now becoming clear. Brown tells the story of how astronomers have gained this clarity, and what the picture is. It describes a tangled relationship between the magnetic fields that cause sun—and starspots, rotation that carries spots around their stars, and the still-mysterious processes that drive stellar magnetic cycles. Studying these phenomena has required all the tools of modern astronomy, from imaging of the sun’s outermost atmosphere (the same “solar corona” that will be on dramatic display in this month’s solar eclipse), to supercomputer models, to space-based photometry. Unexpectedly, the new understanding based on these studies suggests that our own sun’s magnetic behavior changed markedly at least once in the distant past, and that in the fairly near future it may change again.
Don’t miss out on this exciting discussion.