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National Solar Observatory scientist to discuss sunspots

K.S. Balasubramaniam, a scientist at the National Solar Observatory at Sunspot, N.M., will discuss the current state of research on sunspots in a colloquium Sept. 9 sponsored by the New Mexico State University Department of Astronomy.

nt is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, in Room 102 of the Biology Annex, behind the Astronomy Building on the NMSU main campus. It is free and open to the public.

Sunspots are the most visible structures on the solar surface. Understanding their intricate structure can lead to a better understanding of the nature of stars and magnetic fields in the universe, Balasubramaniam said.

In his NMSU talk, he will describe research using high-resolution spectroscopy, spectropolarimetry and imaging in an effort to understand the structure and dynamics of sunspots.

The National Solar Observatory on Sacramento Peak, high in the mountains above Alamogordo, has been engaged in solar research for more than 50 years. It is located close to Apache Point Observatory, operated by New Mexico State University for the Astrophysical Research Consortium, of which NMSU is a member.