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Jack Ireland - solar guides

 

Jack Ireland

 

Image of Jack IrelandWhere do you work?

I live in the USA and work for ESA (European Space Agency) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland. This is where the SOHO spacecraft is operated from. I'm trying to understand why the Sun's corona is at a temperature of over 1,000,000 degrees when the Sun's surface is only 6,000 degrees. I take observations using the instruments on the SOHO spacecraft and try to understand what I see.

 

Image of Jack holding a drinkHow did you end up in the USA?

Well, that's a bit of a long story. I was born in Hamilton, Scotland. I remember being told at school that there were three states of matter - solid, liquid and gas. But I'd read somewhere that there was a fourth state of matter called plasma. So I was kind of curious as to why the teacher never told us about it. I found out more about plasmas at the school astronomy club - the Sun is a big ball of plasma and so are most other stars. I studied more about astronomy at university and then I worked at the University of St Andrews and became fascinated by the Sun. I had the opportunity to work at Goddard Space Flight Center and I was very keen to go.

 

SOHO logoESA logoIn your spare time?

I like cycling, both mountain biking and road racing, and playing football. I'm also trying to bake the perfect waffle, which (trust me) is very difficult. I also love to travel and have just been to Peru, the land of the Sun-worshipping Inca civilisation.

 

 

 

NASA logoImage of some wafflesI only saw a couple of sacrifices, nothing major. So, if I had to describe myself, I'd say that I am a cheese-hating, Peru-trekking waffle chef with a green belt in karate. One thing I've learned about being Scottish in a martial arts class - never do karate in your kilt.

 

Image of Robert, Jack and InekeHere I am with my good friends Robert and Ineke at the SOHO15 conference.

 

Image of Stravinsky conducting an orchestraWhich person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?

Igor Stravinsky - he was a composer who wrote the music for the ballet 'The Rite of Spring' first performed in Paris in 1910. The audience rioted after the ballet had finished! Remember the audience was full of the richest Parisians around and yet they acted like the a bunch of hooligans at a football match! I mean, what got into those people? Anyway, I'd like to ask Igor if he expected such a reaction (after all, it was just a ballet and some music) and if he managed to get a couple of punches in!

Stravinsky conducting - or throwing left hook?

 

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