Come Fly Away to the Sun
Dr. Kelly Korreck
Sunday, November 14, 2021
7:30 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Monthly Meeting – Public Invited
What is faster than a speeding bullet? What can fly through turbulence without fastening its seat belt? What can tell us about the origin of our solar system at same time performing its main mission to understand our closest star? NASA’s Parker Solar Probe!
The Parker Solar Probe (PSP) spacecraft was designed to aid in solving 3 mysteries of the Sun as well as the very practical goal of furthering the understanding of space weather. Space weather ranges from billions of tons of material hurled at Earth as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and solar flares that accelerate energetic particles that could damage electrical power grids on the Earth as well as harm astronauts in space. Parker has made measurements of a stealth or Streamer Blow Out Coronal Mass Ejections (SBO-CMEs) which create space weather. Learning to recognize and characterize these early CMEs help to understand their evolution through the solar system. In addition to studies of the Sun and solar wind, the mission has been able to study Venus, dust, and even capture photos of a comet! Come learn about the coolest hottest mission to the Sun!
Astrophysicist Kelly Korreck knows how to handle the heat. She builds and operates instruments to study the Sun and understand its hot explosive outer atmosphere or corona. Her career has taken her from the desert of New Mexico to Japan, to the innermost part of the solar system. Kelly headed up science operations and project management for the SWEAP Suite aboard Parker Solar Probe. She works with engineers and scientists to create the best data from this once-in-a-lifetime mission. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy and a Ph.D. in Space Physics both from the University of Michigan. When not studying the sun, she can be found near the beach, running, dancing, or in the yoga studio.