The Sun among the stars


Monday November 17, 18:15-19:15, auditorium Reine Elisabeth

The Sun is 4.5 billion years old, and has billions of years to go before it runs out of fuel. The Sun's magnetic field has powered explosions far larger than what we have experienced in historical times, and might occasionally do so again once in a few millennia. How do we know these things given that our lives are so much shorter than the evolutionary time scales of the star that we orbit? Some highlights from the stories that provide the answers give us a good idea: Evidence of solar explosions is found in ancient rocks and slow-moving glaciers; monitoring thousands of Sun-like stars gives us statistics on magnetic activity of the Sun itself; and the combination of nuclear physics and observations of star clusters tells us what is needed inside a star to drive its magnetic dynamo. Let me take you on a tour around the theme of space weather to give you a flavor of the lives of stars.

Karel Schrijver works at Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), U.S.A.
Check his home page.

The keynote is followed by a welcome reception in the Grand Foyer in front of the auditorium.