Posted on | May 28, 2010 | Comments Off
Mānoa Astronomer Jeffrey Kuhn received a senior research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany on the strength of his cumulative research studying the sun. This is the first time that a solar scientist from the United States has been given the prize.
Kuhn, associate director of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Institute for Astronomy, is responsible for Haleakalā Observatories. His research has often focuses on finding new ways to understand the solar interior by using observations of its surface made by instruments on the ground and in space. His group recently found that, unlike almost everything else that we measure about the sun, its diameter is constant to better than a few parts in a million.
“I plan to use this award to develop new models of how and why the solar cycle is so dependent on the death cycle of sunspots,” says Kuhn. He added that the physics is not known but critical to understanding how all stars evolve and change, and that “this understanding may ultimately help us predict how and when a changing sun affects earth’s climate.”