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Friday October
11th 2002 7:30pm

Featured Speaker

Dr Edward Rhodes. Jr.
Principal Investigator - The High Degree Helioseismology Network

Helioseismology at the 60ft solar tower at Mt Wilson Observatories

Helioseismology is a relatively new field of Solar Physics, whereby the internal structure and dynamics of the sun can be studied. Discovered in 1960 by Robert Leighton at the 60-FT Solar Tower, the sun was found to oscillate in a period of about 5 minutes. In other words, the sun experiences a solarquake every 5 minutes. Wavelike motions are not just confined to the surface; they also travel into the sun, where they get trapped in accoustical cavities. In 1970 Roger Ulrich devised the theory by which these solar harmonics could be studied. By monitoring these oscillations on the surface of the sun, solar physicists can indirectly monitor its internal dynamics, and learn more about what goes on inside the sun. This procedure is similar to how geophysicists learn about the internal structure of the earth by studying the motions of waves from earthquakes and man-made explosions. Since the sun is so active, helioseismologists can study the sun on a continuous basis to develop an internal model of the sun. To learn more about helioseismolgy see the link to http://helios.tuc.noao.edu/helio.html.

Ed Rhodes leads an active program in both ground- and space-based observational helioseismology. One of the pioneers in this field of solar physics he is a NASA-selected Co-Investigator on the Solar Oscillation Investigation (SOI). The SOI-Michelson Doppler Imager flys onboard the NASA-ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft. Dr. Rhodes is the Principal-Investigator for the 60-Foot Solar Tower at Mt. Wilson Observatory and the High Degree Helioseismic Network (HiDHN). This network onsists of a second station in Ukraine, at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory. HiDHN provides nearly continuous observations of the sun during the summer months. Beginning in 1992 Ed Rhodes served as a Guest Computational Investigator in the NASA High Performance Computing and Communication Program. As part of this program he and his group employed several NASA-supported supercomputers located at Caltech and at JPL. These computers are still used in addition to a network of dedicated workstations located both at USC and the 60 Foot Solar Tower.


Educational Background: B.S. Magna Cum Laude Physics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1968; M.A. Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, 1971; Ph.D. Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, 1977.

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