Justin Kasper is an astrophysicist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and a lecturer in the astronomy department at Harvard University. He designs sensors for spacecraft that explore extreme environments, from the surface of the Sun to the outer edges of the solar system. He is interested in understanding the forces that lead to solar flares and the solar wind, a stream of particles heated to millions of degrees in the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona. He leads the SWEAP Investigation, an international team of scientists and engineers building sensors that will collect samples of the Sun for the NASA Solar Probe Plus spacecraft, which is to make history in 2018 when it becomes the first human-made object to plunge into the solar corona.
Justin Kasper was a featured speaker at Smithsonian magazine’s “The Future is Here” conference on June 1. See a video of his talk below: