Renowned “Space Weather” Expert at LSC

Public Lecture on Emerging New Science on September 30

September 19, 2013

Dr. Mausumi Dikpati will deliver a lecture on “space weather” at Lyndon State College, Monday, September 30. Dikpati conducts research at the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The Boulder, Colorado-based NCAR is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Dikpati was the first person to predict, in March 2006, the strength and timing of the next solar cycle based on simulations of the physics of the solar interior.

Just like “weather” is the changing conditions in the air above the Earth that is affected by processes in the atmosphere, “space weather” describes the changing conditions in the space above the Earth that is affected by processes on the Sun. Space weather has become of special interest to meteorologists as more people depend on electronic devices and travel into space for longer periods of time. It has a direct impact on modern society including aircraft and spacecraft functions or orbit changes. Space weather can influence surface and space communications, regional electric grids, and disrupt satellite operations like GPS.

Dikpati’s lecture is will be at 7 p.m. in room 100 of the Academic and Student Activity Center (ASAC). The presentation is free and open to the public.

Dikpati’s public lecture occurs midway through the ten-day course she is teaching as a guest scientist-in-residence at LSC’s Atmospheric Sciences Department. The senior level class, “Space Weather,” runs from September 23 through October 4.

Dikpati has been working on “developing a sequential data assimilation technique,” with a “goal is to simultaneously forecast timing, amplitude and shape of a solar cycle.” She said, “I have also been spending a fair amount of time in clarifying issues with Doppler plasma flow versus magnetic feature tracking speed, namely which one constitutes the Sun’s conveyor belt.”

Dikpati’s visit is funded by LSC meteorology alumnus Ralph Vasami ’82, CEO of Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc., and the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s (NCAR) UVISIT Program.

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