LPL Colloquium: Dr. Stuart Bale

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
3:45 pm
Location: Kuiper Space Sciences
Room: 312

Dr. Stuart Bale
Space Sciences Laboratory
University of California, Berkeley

The kinetic solar wind and the NASA Solar Probe Plus mission
The solar wind expands into interplanetary space, from its origin in the superhot solar corona. The underlying physics responsible for coronal heating isn't clear, although mechanisms such as Alfven wave heating, magnetic reconnection, and shock heating have all been proposed and have merits. As the wind evolves into space, it continues to be heated as it expands - presumably by some wave-heating process. Recent measurements at 1AU show clearly the signatures of kinetic plasma physics and suggest that these effects are dominant at the wind source. In this talk, I'll give an overview of the problem, describe some of these recent measurements, and conclude with a discussion of NASA's Solar Probe Plus (SPP) mission. SPP will launch in 2018 and fly directly into the solar corona to make in situ measurements of the physical processes of coronal heating.

Host: Joe Giacalone