On Thursday, April 27, the Montauk Observatory will welcome Stony Brook University astronomy professor, Frederick M. Walter, at Southampton Cultural Center, where he will lead an in depth look at the Sun as well as how solar phenomena can have potentially catastrophic consequences, such as bringing down the North American power grid, an event that we are nowhere near prepared to handle, during The Dark Side of the Sun.
“We all consider the Sun a benign presence that provides us with warmth and energy,” noted Donna McCormick, Executive Director of The Montauk Observatory. “We take it for granted. But, as the title of the talk states, there is a dark side to the Sun that can have devastating effects on our planet and our daily lives.”
The perfectly average middle-aged intermediate mass star is essential for our survival. While the Sun has not threatened our existence yet, humans are evolving in new ways that negatively impact less-appreciated aspects of Solar behavior.
“Professor Walter is an eminent astrophysicist and a dedicated educator,” she shared.
During the lecture, Professor Walter will explore how coronal mass ejections (CMEs) have endangered astronauts, destroyed satellites and can wreak havoc with the power grid, and potentially, in the near future, bring down the North American power grid.
“Montauk Observatory is grateful to have this opportunity to host Professor Walter, who will discuss the Sun, its potentially catastrophic impact on earth, and what we can do to prepare…as the saying goes ‘It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,'” added McCormick.
Professor Frederick M. Walter has taught Astronomy at Stony Brook University since 1989. His fields of research include star birth, stellar weather, and star death using the CHANDRA and XMM-NEWTON X-ray Observatories, the Hubble Space Telescope, and telescopes in Arizona, Hawaii and Chile.
Admission to The Dark Side of the Sun is free, but donations are appreciated.
Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit www.montaukobservatory.com.