Earth versus Sun: A precarious relationship in space

A free public lecture organised by the University of Portsmouth and Portsmouth and District Physical Society

The intimate, yet turbulent relationship between the Sun and Earth dominates the space around our planet.

We're familiar with one consequence of this interaction, through the spectacular displays of aurora - other effects include currents induced in long distance cables, or the loss of signals and damage to spacecraft.

Collectively, we term these effects `'space weather'. Understanding this space weather is paramount for our technology-dependent society.

In this talk, we'll explore how our Earth is protected from the Sun’s solar wind by its magnetic field. We'll follow how the Earth’s magnetic field gets buffered and altered, as the solar blows stronger, weaker or changes direction. We'll see how the SMILE spacecraft will soon revolutionise our view of near-Earth space by taking the first images of the solar-terrestrial interaction.

Space near Earth is highly dynamic and volatile, and this drama is played right above our heads.

This will be a live, online event. You'll be able to access the Zoom meeting links when you register to attend.

About our guest speaker

Dr Jenny Carter is a researcher in the Planetary Sciences group at the Department in Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester. She received her MSci in Physics with Astrophysics from University of Bristol in 2002, and her PhD in 2011 from Leicester.

Jenny is heavily involved in preparations for the SMILE mission, which is due for launch in 2024. She is leading efforts to combine observations from ground and space-based experimentation in conjunction with SMILE.

Jenny is an alumna of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Rising Talents UK and Ireland physical sciences award 2020. She has recently been awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, and she was awarded the Caroline Herschel Prize Lecture 2021.

Jenny is also passionate about the public engagement of science and making science a part of everyone’s culture.

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