Name: Ciara Maguire
Title: PhD student
Address: Astronomy & Astrophysics Section, 31 Fitzwilliam Place Dublin 2, D02 XF86, Ireland
The Sun can produce large-scale explosive energetic events such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) which can excite shock waves that propagate through the solar atmosphere. These solar flares and their associated particles can cause a variety of potentially dangerous ‘space weather’ effects including interruptions or fatal damage to telecommunication satellites and the risk of dangerous doses of particle radiation for astronauts and passengers on commercial aircraft. Due to this space weather threat, there is a need to be able to understand the exact cause of solar flares and the means by which particles are accelerated deep in the solar atmosphere and propagate towards the Earth. Using a variety of space and land borne instruments, including the Irish-Low Frequency Array (I-LOFAR) Ciara is investigating the relationship between shock waves and radio observations to better understand the origins of these explosive events and the mechanisms by which they produce high-energy particles.
Ciara completed her degree in Physics & Astrophysics from Trinity College Dublin in 2017. Her interest in solar physics emerged from completing her final year project with the Solar Physics AMS-02 Research Group in the University of Manoa, Hawaii who investigate the influence of solar activity on galactic cosmic rays. She is now a PhD researcher based in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies under the supervision of Prof. Peter T. Gallagher. She is a member of the first generation of researchers to operate Ireland’s first radio telescope, LOw Frequency ARray (I-LOFAR) which was constructed in Birr, Co. Offaly in 2017. Her research goal is to develop the analysis tools to be used by the Irish and International LOFAR stations and to use these tools to study particle acceleration taking place in the solar atmosphere. She is also passionate about outreach and science communications.
Ciara’s Ph.D. research is funded by the Irish Research Council.