J a c k  I r e l a n d
Solar Physicist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

My work in solar physics looks at the coronal heating problem, namely, why is the surface of the Sun only a few thousand degrees Kelvin while the outlying corona is often millions of degrees Kelvin.

I worked in St. Andrews, doing theoretical physics and SOHO data analysis for 3 and a half years, pursuing answers to the coronal heating problem.

When I finished there I took up a European Space Agency (ESA, the European equivalent of NASA) Fellowship at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where I currently work. Again, I do theoretical and observational solar physics aimed at coronal heating, but this time I get to live in a foreign country for a while. This too is very interesting--I've been mistaken for being English, Irish, German, Dutch and even Russian but no one guesses Scotland, unless they've met Scottish people before. And nobody understands my accent on the telephone! I've been here for just over 6 months and I've enjoyed every moment of it.


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