Nordic Cool 2013: Literature Panel: The Secret Behind the Northern Lights

Saturday, March 2, 2013, 10:30 AM

In this interactive session, Norwegian solar physicist Pål Brekke utilizes photos and video footage from NASA satellites to discuss the visual phenomenon known as the Northern Lights.

This event has already closed.
Please use the event calendar to search for current events.


For the duration of Nordic Cool 2013, the Terrace Gallery will become the Cool Club, an extension of the Nordic Design Illustrated exhibition. The Cool Club will feature the iconic Arne Jacobsen Series 7 chairs, on loan from Fritz Hansen, the Embassy of Denmark in Washington, D.C., and Furniture from Scandinavia, and a new curtain made from fabric by Marimekko.
For thousands of years, people in the northern part of the world have marveled at the spectacular and fearful displays that occasionally light up the northern sky. Award-winning Norwegian solar physicist Pål Brekke has published several popular books about the Sun and the aurora borealis, including the most recent, Our Explosive Sun and The Northern Lights: A Guide. One of the foremost scholars on the subject, Mr. Brekke has spoken multiple times to full houses at the Smithsonian and elsewhere. In this interactive session, he will utilize photos and video footage from NASA satellites to discuss the visual phenomenon known as the Northern Lights. This panel will be moderated by Joseph M. Davila, an Astrophysicist in the Solar Physics Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

Part of Nordic Cool 2013.
Joseph M. Davila, USA (Moderator)
Joseph M. Davila is an award-winning astrophysicist in the Solar Physics Branch of the Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. Dr. Davila earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Lamar University, Beaumont, TX in 1972, a BS in Physics from the University of California, Irvine in 1978 and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Arizona in 1982. His research interests have included the linear and non-linear theory of hydromagnetic waves; hydromagnetic instabilities due to energetic particle beams, resonance absorption in inhomogeneous plasmas, the acceleration of high speed wind streams in solar and stellar coronal holes, and plasma heating in closed magnetic structures. Dr. Davila has also published research on the acceleration of cosmic rays, the transport of energetic particles within the Galaxy, the modulation of Galactic cosmic rays by the solar wind, and the propagation of solar cosmic rays in the interplanetary medium.
Pål Brekke, Norway
Pål Brekke received a Dr. Scient degree in 1993 from the University of Oslo and he participated on behalf of Norway in the pre-launch activities for the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission. After the launch of SOHO in December 1995, he was part of the science operation team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In 1999, he joined the European Space Agency (ESA) as the SOHO Deputy Project Scientist stationed at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. While there he was also responsible for outreach and media activities making SOHO into one of the most well-known current satellite projects with more than 60 million hits per month on their web page. Currently, he works as a senior advisor at the Norwegian Space Centre in Oslo and as an adjunct professor at the University Center at Svalbard (UNIS). He is a Norwegian delegate to the ESA Science Programme Committee and a delegate to the International Living with a Star. He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, ESA's Exceptional Achievement Award, and the Laurels for Team Achievements from the International Academy for Astronautics. He is an internationally known lecturer and author of several popular science articles and books - the latest Our Explosive Sun (Springer 2012). He will be coming out with a new book in January tailored toward tourists, visitors, and anyone hunting the northern lights, The Northern Lights: A Guide.

This is a FREE event. General Admission tickets will be distributed, two (2) per person on a first-come-- first-serve basis, in front of the theater, 30 minutes before the performance begins.

Nordic Cool 2013 Literature Series is curated by Danish Arts Council, Norwegian Literature Abroad, Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet), Finnish Literature Exchange, and Icelandic Literature Foundation.


This event has already closed.

Please use the event calendar to search for current events.

All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.

All ticket prices are subject to change based on demand. Purchase early to lock in prices and the best seats!