(Columbia, Tenn. – April 12, 2011) - - - Columbia State Community College’s Science, Technology and Mathematics Division in conjunction with the Lyceum Committee will host a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) lecture entitled “Sun Through Time,” presented by Mitzi Adams, Solar Scientist at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama on Wednesday, April 13 at 3:30 p.m. in the Waymon L. Hickman building, room 123 at the Columbia campus. This event is complimentary and open to the public.
Adams has earned both Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Science degrees in physics and has been active in work related to the sun. This lecture was arranged by David Fawcett, Associate Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia State to provide recent information on magnetic fields associated with sunspots.
“Marshall has an instrument which can measure the direction and magnitude of the magnetic field of the spots,” said Adams. “If the magnetic field becomes twisted, the sunspots may produce a flare. One of the things we would like to know is how to predict which sunspots will flare and which flares will produce ‘coronal mass ejections’, gigantic explosions of material which can travel interplanetary space and affect the Earth through aurora, loss of communication with satellites and power grid disruptions.”
Adams lecture will focus on the technological changes throughout history that have allowed human knowledge of the Sun and other stars to grow. From the ancient Chinese to the most modern space-based telescopes, she will discuss the myths, legends, technology and mathematics that have led to the evolution of modern solar science.
“I had the honor and privilege to meet Commander Edgar D. Mitchell, the sixth human to walk on the moon,” remarked Adams. “I met the Commander at a patriotic rally, where I spoke to him personally, asking his advice on becoming an astronaut. Although I have not attained that goal, Commander Mitchell gave me very good advice on how to become a professional scientist and perhaps an astronaut at some point. I ultimately decided I did not really wish to be an astronaut, but I followed Commander Mitchell’s advice and became a happy solar astronomer.”
For more information about this lecture or Columbia State STEM degree programs, contact the Science, Technology and Math Division at (931) 540-2710 or visit www.columbiastate.edu/stm.
Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee’s first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.