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Susi Parenti - solar guides


Susi Parenti


Image of Suzi having dinner with friendsWhere do you work?
I work at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. I also work in Paris, oh-la-la, it's a beautiful city to work in, I love it! I work at the SOHO Operations Centre at MEDOC, in Orsay, just south of Paris. We sometimes operate the SOHO instruments from there. It's hard work, but great fun.


Here I am having dinner with some friends.


Image of the Fiorentina player Gabriel BatistutaHow did you end up in Paris?
I was born and grew up in Firenze, or Florence as it's called in English. I worked at the Arcetri Observatory, just a stone's throw away from Galileo's house! I then went to England, University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) to study solar physics. I enjoyed it very much, but it did rain a lot. I then had the opportunity to work in Paris at MEDOC, and I took it. I'm a sunny person, a bit stubborn, but I always try to be positive. I love the light and the hot weather puts me in a good mood.


My favourite colours are yellow, like the Sun and violet, like the colour of Fiorentina, my favourite football team!

What do you do, besides work?
I'm a sporty person. One of my favourite sports is skiing. At school, I used to train during the week and race every weekend. What a beautiful life!


Image fo Michelangelo's DavidImage of actor, Paul NewmanI also enjoy karate, especially kicking boys! I love movies and dogs too, and my favourite famous people are Michelangelo (a renaissance artist) and Paul Newman - I know, he's getting a bit old now, but he was gorgeous.


Michelangelo's statue of David.


Paul Newman.


How did you become an astronomer?
Well, as I said, I come from Florence (Italy) famous for its art. There I studied at art school and then, in 1995, the comet Halley passed over and I was astonished by the pictures of it. Well, I decided that comets, stars and the blue sky fascinated me more than painting. I studied physics and astronomy at university in Florence.


Image of the August 1999


One of my best experiences of life was in 1999, when I went to north of France to see the total eclipse of the Sun. There I was, just a minute before the totality, when somebody called me on my mobile phone. Typically Italian!


(photo by Derek Maskell)


Image of Susi relaxing in a park


What solar physics do you do?
I study the solar corona, the outer part of the solar atmosphere. I'm trying to measure the temperature, density and element abundances of different features of the corona. I'm working with data collected by the SOHO satellite.


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