Understanding our Sun

Saturday, October 24, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Our sun is, on average, 93 million miles away, and yet it is so powerful that you cannot look directly at it.

What do we really know about this object at the center of our solar system?

Science at Cal and The Lawrence Hall of Science have teamed up to create this virtual event featuring both UC Berkeley scientists and The Lawrence Hall of Science educators. Join us online to learn more about our sun in a live conversation with Dr. Phyllis Whittlesey, a space scientist who studies the sun at UC Berkeley and who has been interested in space since she was a young child! We’ll tackle a variety of hot questions from how do we study the sun to what have we learned from it.
  There are two ways to watch:    

Dr. Phyllis Whittlesey

Research Scientist, Deputy Associate Director, Solar and Heliophysics, Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley 

Dr. Phyllis Whittlesey is a research scientist at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab. She developed, tested, and now operates and serves as the instrument lead for the SPAN-Electron experiment on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a mission which holds records for the fastest man made thing ever and closest man made object to the sun. When she isn’t in the lab, Phyllis is typically working on art installations in the Oakland and San Francisco bay area, learning Chinese, or being really, remarkably bad at Super Smash Brothers. She is currently designing the electron experiment on ESCAPADE, a NASA mission under development that will study how the solar wind affects Mars’ atmosphere and magnetosphere using two identical twin spacecraft.

Dr. Phyllis Whittlesey

More pictures of Dr. Phyllis at work:


Michelle Z. Rodriguez

Michelle Z. Rodriguez

Manager, School Programs, Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley

Michelle is the Visitor and Community Experiences Director at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Michelle has spent most of her professional and personal life in informal science institutions. Throughout her work in these different institutions, Michelle has brought robust, mission-based science learning experiences to students, teachers, and families. Inspired by field trips and family trips as a child, Michelle believes that free-choice learning is a powerful motivator and that science is an important lens through which we can understand and navigate the world.

Michelle at work!


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