European Science Café in Houston - Living with a Star

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The Consulates General of European Countries in Houston invite you to a European Science Café with Dr. David Alexander, Director of the Rice Space Institute, on Thursday June 02, 2016 at 7pm.

- Where : The Black Labrador, 4100 Montrose Bld - Houston, TX 77006
- When : Thursday June 02, 2016 at 7pm
- RSVP here
- Presentation and discussions in English
- Free and open to the public
- Drinks orders : 6.30 -7 pm, before the presentation

Presentation : Living with a Star

Come and join us to spend the evening with Dr. David Alexander, Director of the Rice Space Institute at Rice University, and learn about the importance of the Sun in the solar system and what it may tell us about the search for life around other stars. The Earth resides within the atmosphere of the Sun, protected only by a thin sliver of an atmosphere and a global magnetic field. The Sun is a magnetically active star that constantly bombards the Earth with high energy radiation and fast moving particles which are not without influence on our life on earth. Indeed, when a major electromagnetic storm occurs on the Sun the Earth feels it, and the resulting geomagnetic storms can wreak havoc with spacecraft, astronauts, power grids and telecommunication systems such as cell phones. This is called Space Weather. In this talk we will talk about how the Sun interacts with the planet Earth and the latest efforts to understand and forecast Space Weather. We will also project on what we learn to discuss about exoplanets and the possibility to find life elsewhere in the Universe.

Dr. David Alexander is a British professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where his primary area of research is solar astrophysics. He also serves as the Director of the Rice Space Institute where he is responsible for the mission and direction required to develop and achieve the goals and objectives of the institute.

Professor Alexander joined the faculty at Rice in 2003, coming from the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California where he was a Staff Physicist working on the development of advanced space missions for solar physics. He received his Bachelor of Science in Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, and his doctorate on Relativistic Cosmological Models from the University of Glasgow.

Professor Alexander is author of “The Sun” part of the Greenwood Press “Guide to the Universe” Series. He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004 and was appointed a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is a former Chair of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomy Society, former Chair of the Solar Heliospheric Interplanetary Environment (SHINE) program, and current Chair of the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory Users’ Committee. Professor Alexander has served on many national and professional committees including the NASA Advisory Council’s Heliophysics Subcommittee, the NASA Solar Heliospheric Management and Operations Working Group (SH-MOWG), ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter Payload Committee and the Science Advisory Board of the High Altitude Observatory Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory. He is a member of the Rice Faculty Senate.

The European Science Café is presented by the European foreign missions in Houston. This free periodic event aims to bring science to the public at large by featuring a renowned European scientist. We hope to develop and stimulate an enthusiastic network between the European scientific community and Houstonians.