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Sarah Matthews - solar guides


Sarah Matthews


Image of Sarah MatthewsWhat work do you do?
I work at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), in Surrey. I spend my time studying the magnetic activity on the Sun, trying to understand the big increases in X-rays, which happen when we observe a solar flare. I'm also interested in the hot regions on the Sun called active region - why some produce solar flares and some don't. I'm now working on a new project called STEREO, in which the observations from two satellites will be used to build a 3-D picture of the Sun.


Image of a STEREO posterHow did you end up doing solar physics?
I was born in London. At school and university, I chose to study physics and astronomy. Then I ended up doing solar physics in the astronomy department at Glasgow University. On reflection, given my inability to wire up a circuit, it was definitely the right decision to do theoretical rather than experimental work.


What do you do in my spare time?
I spend a lot of time contemplating the prospect of doing something healthy like exercise, but usually end up dismissing this in favour of quieter pursuits like going to the cinema or meeting friends for food and drink. I have, though, been known to make it up the odd hill occasionally - there are lots around MSSL.


Image of Sarah next to a brewery vat





Image of a box of oatcakesHave you travelled a lot?
So far I've been to Japan and the US several times as well as to France and Greece, where I witnessed Daniel's Greek dancing - and of course not forgetting lots of exotic(?) locations in the UK! I take jars of marmite with me when I travel. Oh, and oatcakes too.


Image of a jar of Marmite






Image of Nelson MandelaWho is the person (dead or alive) whom you most admire?

Nelson Mandela - a man with the courage of his convictions.



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