Club Meeting Friday, January 9th

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 7:30pm

Lienhard Hall, Pace University, Pleasantville

Josh Knight
The Sun as a Star and the Stanford Solar Observatory

For almost 40 years Stanford's Wilcox Solar observatory has produced solar mean magnetic field measurements and large scale photospheric magnetographs. These observations complement high-resolution observations from terrestrial observatories and data from satellites to provide input to models of the interplanetary medium and geomagnetosphere for "space weather" predictions. Dr. Knight will review terrestrial solar observing techniques, the physics of spectroscopic magnetic field measurements and the physics of the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field, followed by a discussion of the specifics of the construction and operation of the Wilcox Solar Observatory. As in all scientific projects, issues arose in the operation of the Wilcox Solar Observatory that were not envisioned before the construction was completed.

Josh Knight received a BS in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 1968, a MS in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 1974 and a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford in 1978. His thesis was titled Reverse Currents in Solar Flares. He was a Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at Stanford from 1978 to 1981 pursuing research in solar physics and providing instruction in undergraduate observational astronomy. Both as a graduate student and as a Research Associate, Josh was part of the Wilcox Solar Observatory team. Josh joined IBM in 1981 and has since done research and development in computer hardware and software while maintaining a strong interest in astronomy.