Never change a winning team

Mats-Ola Sand's decision to stay on after his astronomy studies as a Doctoral Research Fellow at ITA and RoCS comes down to two factors: exciting opportunities and a friendly environment. 

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Mats-Ola Sand follows up his bachelor- and master studies with a Doctoral Research Fellow period at RoCS. Photo: Private

- What is your name, your nationality and your educational background? 

- My name is Mats Ola Sand and I am from Norway. I have a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Astronomy, and a Master of Science in Astronomy.

- Where have you studied/worked before and in what field? 

- I did both my bachelor’s and master’s degree at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics here at the University of Oslo. My master’s thesis is similar to my current project as the thesis was an observational study of the Sun, but still a bit different as the thesis focused solely on the dynamics in the solar chromosphere.

- When did you start working at ITA? What is your position here?

- I started on the 16th of August 2021 as a PhD research fellow

- What are you going to study?

- I am going to study the origin of jets in the solar atmosphere. The main interest of my project is the connection between Quiet Sun Ellerman Bombs (QSEB) and spicules, i.e., small brightenings in the photosphere due to magnetic reconnection and highly dynamic jets in the solar chromosphere, respectively.

- How do you plan to answer to the main question?

- I will be studying high quality observations from both ground-based and spaceborne telescopes, i.e., the SST (Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope) on La Palma and IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph), respectively. Here I will also apply machine learning techniques for automatic detection of QSEBs.

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Close to the limb observation of QSEBs and spicules in the bue wing of the H-Alpha 6563 Å spectral line. Taken by the CRISP (CRisp Imaging SpectroPolarimeter) instrument at the SST, La Palma. 


- What brought you to ITA and RoCS/Oslo in general?

- I have lived in Oslo for more than 27 years (most of my life). I did both my bachelor’s and master’s degree at ITA and RoCS; as I enjoyed everything from the people here to the work of my thesis, it was a very natural choice for me to apply for a position as PhD research fellow here at RoCS

- How can you describe your experience here at ITA and in Oslo so far?

- The working environment is very friendly and RoCS/ITA seems like the perfect place to thrive as a researcher.

- What do you expect from this experience?

- As I did my master’s degree at RoCS/ITA, I already know that my colleagues are very friendly and helpful, and that I will have access to exceptional observations and analysis tools. I expect to grow a lot towards the goal of becoming an independent researcher, and I will do my best to be as helpful and forthcoming as my peers.

- What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies, interests?

- I enjoy a lot of activities like exercising, hiking, skate- and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, etc., as well as activities with lower activity level like playing the guitar, card games, board games, computer games and so on.

By Eyrun Thune
Published Jan. 25, 2022 6:00 AM - Last modified Apr. 20, 2022 2:04 PM