Date: July 26, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EDT
Topic: Science: Earth in the Solar System
Career: Solar Astrophysicist: A solar astrophysicist is a scientist who studies the physics of the sun.
Years ago, scientists discovered vibrations on the surface of the sun. Speculations were that faulty instruments caused the appearance of these vibrations. No one expected it, but the discovery that these vibrations were created by sound waves generated by the sun led scientists to study the sun in a completely new way.
In a live video Web chat on July 26, 2012, Dr. Dean Pesnell, the project scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, answered student questions about the sounds of the sun and his career path to NASA.
Pesnell studies the causes of solar variability and the impact on Earth. During this special live video chat, Pesnell made an analogy between a pipe organ and solar sound waves and then fields questions about what sound waves reveal about the sun.
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