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Physics Colloquium: Prof. Marco Velli
Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 04:00pm

Prof. Marco Velli, UCLA

"Parker Solar Probe: Understanding Coronal heating and Solar Wind acceleration"

Coffee and cookies will be served at 3:45pm in RLM 4.102

Abstract: The magnetic field is fundamental to solar activity and shapes the interplanetary environment. It is the source for coronal heating and the very existence of the solar wind: produced by the sun’s dynamo and emerging into the corona, magnetic fields become a conduit for waves, act to store energy, and then propel plasma into the Heliosphere in the form of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). Parker Solar Probe (PSP) was launched in August 2018 to carry out the first in situ exploration of the outer solar corona and inner Heliosphere. In this lecture I will start from an introduction to our present knowledge of the magnetized solar corona and wind before describing the PSP scientific objectives, orbit, and instrument suites, and illustrating results from the first orbits. Emphasis will be on how PSP will confirm or falsify present models, as well as on the potential of new discoveries stemming from the first exploration of the space inside the orbit of Mercury. I will also discuss how synergies with Solar Orbiter might lead us to accurately understand the state of the solar wind all the way from the corona into interplanetary space, a stepping stone for understanding the dynamics of active magnetized plasmas throughout the universe.

Location: The John A. Wheeler Lecture Hall (RLM 4.102)