Talking about the sun

Southwestern Oregon Community College closes out the 2020-21 Physics and Astronomy Lecture Series by welcoming Dr. Holly Gilbert, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research High Altitude Observatory. In her talk “A New Era in Solar Observations,” Gilbert will discuss some of the current solar and heliospheric observations (both space-based and ground-based) and the scientific implications thereof. The public is welcome to listen in on this fascinating subject on June 3, at 6:30 p.m. via Livestream at

In a preview of her lecture Gilbert shares, “The newest generation of solar observational data is allowing a pivot toward making connections in the various solar physics domains and facilitating advanced modeling for space weather conditions and impacts. We study important physical couplings in the solar atmospheric layers, as well as connections from the solar corona through the heliosphere. To advance our understanding of how solar activity and variability impact space weather conditions, improved and novel observations have recently come online from space and from the ground. For example, the Solar Orbiter mission is making connections between phenomena on the Sun and their manifestations in interplanetary space. Ground-based observations from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory and the new Daniel K. Inouye telescope in Hawaii are advancing our understanding of emerging and evolving magnetic fields in the solar atmosphere.”

Gilbert’s talk will highlight some of these observations, the science they are enabling and the implications for space weather forecasting and prediction.

The Southwestern Physics and Astronomy Lecture Series is sponsored in part by the Southwestern Foundation. For information about this month's lecture and future events, contact Dr. Aaron Coyner, associate professor of physics, at To learn more about physics and engineering degrees at Southwestern, visit


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