Distinguished Speaker Colloquium of Institute for Space Weather Sciences

The Sun's Magnetic Field: Producing Space Weather and Varying the Sun’s Brightness

Dr. Sami K. Solanki
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany


The single quantity responsible for the continuing unrest and activity of the Sun is its tangled and dynamic magnetic field. It produces many fascinating phenomena, including massive coronal mass ejections that influence space weather and changes in the Sun's radiative output, which has been invoked as a driver of the Earth's climate and a contributor to global change. In this talk, an overview of the magnetic field of the Sun will be given and selected recent advances in our knowledge will be presented. The second half of the talk will address some of the ways that the variable and violent Sun influences the Earth and its space environment.  

About Dr. Sami K. Solanki

Dr. Solanki is Director at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany since 1999, where he heads the solar department. He did his Ph.D. at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland, to which he returned after a post-doc period at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. He is Founder and Spokesperson of the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) on Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen and has been endowed with Honorary Professorships by the ETH and the Technical University of Braunschweig, as well as receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Oulu, Finland. Since 2009 he is a Distinguished Professor at the Kyung Hee University in Korea. He has been awarded a number of prizes and medals. For example, he is the recipient of the Julius Bartels medal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and of the Distinguished Scientist Award of the Scientific Committee for Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP). He has also obtained an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC).

His scientific interests are focussed on the physics of the Sun, including the Sun’s variable output and its influence on the Earth’s climate. He has contributed to uncovering the nature of the Sun’s magnetic field, providing insights into its structuring into small-scale features and the nature of sunspots. He has also shown that the source of the variation of the Sun’s radiative output is its variable surface magnetic field. He has published over 500 refereed scientific papers, with around 28000 citations and a Hirsh-index of 86. He also has an outstanding record of community services.