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Peter Young - solar guides

 

Hi, my name's Peter Young:

 

Image of Peter YoungWhere do you work?
I now work at the Naval Research Laboratory and George Mason University, USA. I used to work at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory with the main SOHO group in the UK.

 

Image of a loop from a CDS instrument on SOHOThis is an image of active region loops obtained with the Coronal Diagnostic spectrometer (CDS) instrument on SOHO. The red shows gas moving towards us, and the blue is moving away.

 

Where else have you lived?
I was born in Northumberland and studied at Cambridge University.

 

Image of the Mathematical bridge in Cambridge

 

 

 

This is the mathematical bridge in Cambridge. It is made of wood and was finely balanced without any bolts. It was taken apart to clean, but they couldn't get it back together again - now it has bolts to hold it in place!

 

Image of the Jupiter moon, IoThen I worked at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA for a few years. There I studied some planets and stars as well as the Sun. I did some observations of Io, one of the moons of Jupiter.

 

Io has a ring of plasma around it, which is the part I studied.

 

When did you first get interested in astronomy?
I've been interested in astronomy since I was about 8 or 9. At school I found that my main talents were in maths and science and I realised that here was a chance of becoming an astronomer. Although I enjoy studying the Sun, I'm also very interested in other astrophysical objects, planets and other stars.

 
Io Torus

Image of a total eclipse of the Sun

Here is a photo of a total eclipse of the Sun

 

Image of Peter and some of his collegues in Florence, ItalyTell us about a typical day in your working life.
My particular bit of research involves studying light from the Sun's atmosphere at a range of wavelengths and most of my time is taken up with analysing data obtained by satellites and rockets (for example, SOHO). Nowadays, all data are stored in computers and you'll most often find me in front of my computer terminal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image of Florence, Italy

 

Recently, I've also been studying the light from other stars. I get to travel quite a lot, which I enjoy. Here I am at Arcetri Observatory, Florence, with some colleagues.

 

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