- What have I been up to all these years?
Welcome to my page! If you are trying to learn more about what I do for a living,
find out what I have done in the past, or if you just want to get in touch with me, you're in the right place!
Click here to see my work. Click here to contact me.
My friends call me Gilly, and I am a fourth year Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Colorado Boulder. I work for Dr. Steven Cranmer in the LASP Space Sciences Building. I study the atmosphere of the sun and the way that it affects the rest of the solar system. I hope to be involved in space missions such as NASA's Parker Solar Probe and ESA's Solar Orbiter, as well as the DKIST ground based solar telescope. These instruments will all be coming online in the next few years.
"To devote the greater part of one's adult life to the lonely recording of the terrible emptiness between the stars is more than can be asked of someone entirely normal. It is perhaps with some realization of this that the Spatio-analytic Institute has adopted as its official slogan the somewhat wry statement, 'We Analyze Nothing.'"-The Currents of Space, Issac Asimov (1952)
Many people picture our solar system like this:
But this is such a barren picture of our home! (No offense to planetary scientists.) While it is true that the density in space is quite low compared to on Earth, we have discovered that the solar system is in fact filled with dynamic processes!
In 1958, [Only 6 years after Asimov wrote The Currents of Space], Eugene Parker discovered that a stiff wind blows incessantly from the sun, filling local interstellar space with ionized gas. The discovery forever changed how scientists perceive space and helped explain many phenomena, from geomagnetic storms that knock out power grids on Earth to the formation of distant stars. [National Geographic]We have discovered gigantic magnetic force fields, shielding the Earth and some other planets from the Sun's wind. An even bigger field, generated by the Sun, shields the entire solar system from the vast ocean of cold plasma that exists between the stars: the interstellar medium!
When I think of our solar system, this is what I see:
Want to collaborate? The best way to get in touch with me is by email.