Next Meeting Presentation

2 May 2024 – Club Meeting Presentation
— Thursday night, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

This free speaker presentation will be offered in-person at the UNC-Asheville Reuter Center and virtually online. Registration is not required; use this Zoom link to watch the presentation remotely.

An Astronomy Guest Speaker Series Event – a collaboration of the Astronomy Club of Asheville and UNC-Asheville

Artist illustration of The Local Bubble

Cosmic-Ray Mysteries in the Light of the Sun and the Shadow of the Moon
– presented by
Enrique Alberto Gómez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Western Carolina University

The Solar System has spent the last few million years in a rough neighborhood of the Milky Way galaxy called The Local Bubble, carved by the winds of ancient supernovae. This is an environment characterized by higher than usual ionizing radiation from those ancient supernovae called cosmic rays. The solar wind shields the inner solar system from some of the flux of cosmic rays, but this solar wind strength changes along with the sunspot cycle so the flux of cosmic rays detected on Earth changes along with the 11-year solar cycle. Dr. Gómez will share his team’s work on monitoring cosmic ray fluxes in the atmosphere with high-altitude, balloon-borne radiation detectors. He will also report on balloon-borne atmospheric observations in the atmosphere during partial and total solar eclipses, and how this engages students, amateurs and community members.