‘Journey to the center of the sun’

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Joyce Guzik of LANL will give a talk on Tuesday

By Special to the Monitor

The next meeting of the Los Alamos Geological Society (LAGS) will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Christian Church, 92 East Road.  Joyce A. Guzik, Ph.D., of Los Alamos National Laboratory  will give a talk entitled, “Journey to the Center of the Sun.”

Although we know more about the sun than any other star, only the surface is directly visible. How

do we know what is going on inside? This talk will discuss how scientists use a variety of tools, including acoustic waves, to see beneath the sun’s exterior, a subject known as helioseismology.

While it might be a welcome companion on a tropical beach, the sun is actually a turbulent volatile object, shaken by “sun-quakes” and traversed by X-rays streaming from a hot dense core where the equivalent of 100 billion hydrogen bombs explode every second. Also explored will be predictions for the sun’s future and their implications for temperatures on Earth. The talk will close with prospects to use oscillations in other stars to infer their interior structure (asteroseismology). A version of this talk was given for the Frontiers in Science colloquium series in the spring of 2010.

Joyce Ann Guzik joined X-division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1988. She has a doctorate in astrophysics from Iowa State University and

bachelor’s degrees in physics, math and Russian studies from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. She is currently part of the NASA Kepler Guest Observer program and the Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium.

Launched in March 2009, the Kepler satellite searches for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Guzik’s role as a guest observer is to analyze high-precision photometry on the variations of stars to help researchers better understand the interior structure of stars.

The LAGS August 2010 field trip will be Aug. 21. They plan to visit the Harding Mine near Dixon. It has been some time since LAGS visited this classic. They will leave the Aquatic Center parking lot in Los Alamos at 8 a.m., so participants should be there by 7:50 a.m.  They will stop at the Santa Claran (aka Big Rock) Casino in Española to collect people from other locations. Bring the usual collecting gear, snacks, lunch, sunscreen, rock hammer, camera and water. Considerable advance notice  is needed with the University of New Mexico. Please contact Paul Bradley (Ppbradpp@aol.com)  or Rick Kelley (rekelley@lanl.gov or rekelley@ix.netcom.com to check on space availability.