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Gerald Soffen Lecture Series: Dr. Holly Gilbert - Unlocking the Secrets of the Sun
January 12, 2012

Unlocking the Secrets of the Sun

Holly GilbertImage courtesy Dr. Holly Gilbert Come to the Visitor Center at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, at 7 p.m., to hear the next installment of the Soffen Lecture Series, titled "Unlocking the Secrets of the Sun."

Although we depend on the sun to enable and sustain life, historically very little has been known about the nature of this magnetically driven star. Over the last 50 years, solar scientists have made great strides in understanding the inner workings of the dynamic sun and we find ourselves in an exciting time of amazing solar observations and discovery.

The layers of the solar atmosphere create dramatic behavior and are the birthplace of space weather. NASA operates a fleet of spacecraft dedicated to studying the Sun and its domain–the heliosphere, including its effects on Earth. Come along for a journey through the Sun's varying moods and the implications for Earth's past, present, and future.

Dr. Holly Gilbert is Chief of the Solar Physics Laboratory in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Gilbert's extensive experience studying the solar atmosphere focuses on the dynamic phenomena associated with coronal mass ejections and solar prominences. Her research is driven by the desire to gain a greater understanding of solar storms and the forces behind space weather.

During his 30-year NASA career, Dr. Gerald Soffen (1926-2000) led the science team for NASA's Viking program, was Director of Life Sciences at NASA Headquarters, Project scientist for NASA's Earth Observing System, and created NASA Academy, NASA's premiere leadership training internship. The Viking 2 lander was posthumously named after Dr. Soffen and a crater on Mars was named "Soffen." He was best known, however, for his passion for inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.


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