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Steven R. Cranmer's Home Page
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I am an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), working in the Solar, Stellar, and Planetary Sciences Division. I am also affiliated with the CfA's Theoretical Astrophysics Division, I'm an Associate Senior Member of the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC), and I'm a Harvard University Lecturer on Astronomy.

In my research I study the hot, expanding outer atmospheres of the Sun and other stars. Using both theoretical models and observations, scientists are able to infer a great deal about the physical principles underlying these distant objects, adding to our knowledge of how the universe works as a whole. Understanding the Sun and its atmosphere is also a necessary precursor to being able to predict the Sun's long-term effects on the Earth's climate and local space environment.

  • Research Areas:   Solar and Stellar Astrophysics, Plasma Physics
  • Email: scranmer@cfa.harvard.edu   ...   Phone: 1-(617)-495-7271
  • Postal Mail:   Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory,
    60 Garden Street, Mail Stop 50, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
  • Twitter: @solarstellar   ...   ORCID: 0000-0002-3699-3134
For students:
Astron 253 (Spring 2014)
Astron 201a (Fall 2012)
Intro to solar wind
Intro to UVCS/SOHO

I'm advising Harvard graduate student Lauren Woolsey, who is doing dissertation work on models of the acceleration of the solar wind. For the past few decades, I worked with John Kohl's Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) group, which operated an instrument on the SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) spacecraft from 1996 to 2013. UVCS observed ultraviolet spectral lines emitted in the extended solar corona, which have allowed us to obtain a better understanding of how the solar wind is heated and accelerated.

2013 NEWS:   New X-ray results from a T Tauri star in a CfA Press Release
2011 NEWS:   New stellar wind theory highlighted in a CfA Weekly Science Update
(see older news items)

* More Information


* Background

In 1996 I received my Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Delaware, where I have worked with the Bartol Research Institute since 1992. My Ph.D. thesis advisor was Dr. Stanley P. Owocki, and my Ph.D. Dissertation is online in PDF and postscript formats. I received my B.S. in Physics from Drexel University in 1990, and my M.S. in Astronomy from the Ohio State University in 1991 (M.S. thesis advisor: Dr. George Collins). While at Drexel, I did co-op work at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.

I am a member of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), its Historical Astronomy Division (HAD), and its Solar Physics Division (SPD). For the period 2003-2005 I served as a member of the SPD Committee, which has general charge of the affairs of the Division. I'm also a member of the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and I recently served as an Associate Editor for the AGU Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics.

I'm happily married since 1992 to Janet Houser. We have a 12-year-old son, Ethan, and a bunch of wonderful cats.