Solar physicist Paal Brekke, senior adviser at the Norwegian Space Center in Oslo delivers a multimedia presentation, including film clips on the myths and modern science behind the northern lights on February 5. The lecture is part of the Smithsonian Resident Associate Program.
What could be more beautiful on a cold winter night than catching a glimpse of the ethereal northern lights dancing across the sky? This stunning phenomenon is embedded in the mythology of many cultures and has been characterized as everything from dancing spirits to God’s anger. Yet no one suspected a connection with the sun until just over 100 years ago.
Paal Brekke has extensively studied the sun and aurora borealis. At the presentation, Brekke will explain the science behind the phenomenon that was given its scientific name by Galileo (it means dawn of the north) and discuss how solar particles are captured by Earth’s magnetic field and guided to the magnetic poles.
When: February 5, 2009, 6:45 to 9:00 pm
Where: Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., Wash, DC, Metro: Archives/Navy Mem. Yellow/Green lines
Ticket: $30/40. Full-time Students with valid IDs $20. Please call (202) 633-3030 or click here to purchase tickets.