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Dean Pesnell

NASA Solar Astrophysicist

W. Dean Pesnell is the project scientist of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. He has published 80 papers in several research areas, including variable stars, the Sun-Earth connection, quantum mechanics, and meteors in planetary atmospheres.

He received his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Florida. After a post-doc at the University of Colorado and a visiting professorship at New Mexico State University, Pesnell came to NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center as a contractor in 1990. He formed Nomad Research, Inc., in 1995 to do independent scientific research. One research contract was to design the “Living with a Star” missions to study the response of the Earth to solar activity. He started work on Solar Dynamics Observatory in 2004 and became the project scientist in 2005. He talks a lot about on solar activity, including the current minimum in solar activity, and enjoys trying to use music to understand the Sun and stars.

Past Programs Featuring Dean Pesnell

Saturday, June 4, 2011 | 10:00 am - 6:00 pm