About SFAA Live-streamed Lectures

Once monthly, the SFAA hosts distinguished guest speakers who are leaders in the fields of astronomy, physics and related disciplines. The speakers present to the public and SFAA members the latest developments from cutting-edge scientific programs.   To view archived lectures, click here.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  the monthly lectures are being made available by live stream.  Use your computer or mobile device to connect to the links provided below.


20 October 2021, 7:00 PM, Wednesday, Live-streamed via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook

“Living with a Star: the Sun, Space Weather, and Our Place in the Stellar Neighborhood”


Dr. Phyllis Whittlesey, Research Scientist, UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab

As humanity expands its presence on the Moon and Mars, we venture outside of our Earth’s protective magnetic bubble and into the dynamic space weather system driven by the sun. On Earth, we feel the effects of space weather during extreme solar storms, which can produce intense x-ray flares and massive explosions that deform our planet’s strong magnetic field, generating the aurora. Much as Earth weather influences the voyages of earthbound explorers, interplanetary space weather is an important consideration for these space-borne explorers. Several currently operating and future NASA and ESA missions seek to uncover persisting mysteries about our sun, including the source of supersonic plasma flows we call the solar wind, and what conditions lead to massive solar eruptions associated with intense x-ray flares. Lastly, what we learn about how our sun locally can be extended to inform what we see at other distant stars.

Brief Bio

Dr. Phyllis Whittlesey is an experimental research scientist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Lab. She is leading instrumentation on two of NASA’s Heliophysics Division’s missions in development: ESCAPADE, a dual-spacecraft mission to study space weather at Mars, and HERMES, a space weather platform for the Lunar Gateway, a space station planned at the moon. Dr. Whittlesey is also the instrument lead for a plasma instrument onboard NASA’s premier mission to the sun, Parker Solar Probe, which launched in 2018 and continues to break solar proximity records every 3-4 months.

How to Attend

To attend the virtual meeting "live" with the opportunity to ask questions:

Connect starting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, October 20th by clicking this Zoom meeting link: https://zoom.us/j/95830904603?pwd=UDNKdm16US9wK1EremdJeGptdjNNdz09

Clicking the link may prompt you to install the Zoom virtual meeting app. Once installed, you will be able to join the meeting. If the app is already installed on your device, simply enter the meeting number 958 3090 4603 and password 116064 to join the meeting.

Once joined, you can test your audio and video, and greet other members.

Board members will join the meeting early to help troubleshoot any problems with audio or video.

"Doors Open" at 6:30pm and the announcements and lecture will start promptly at 7:00pm.

Alternatively, please visit the following channels to attend the live stream:

SFAA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChuBJGp_iJYZ11q_ayA-q3A

SFAA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/152754481404310