Mark Rast

Mark Rast has been an HAO affiliate scientist since 2006. He was an ASP postdoc from 1993 to 1995, and an HAO scientist from 1998 to 2005. Mark is an associate professor at the University of Colorado in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences where he teaches Solar and Space Physics and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics. In addition, he is a member of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics.

Image Mark Rast
Mark Rast

His scientific interests include: astrophysical fluid dynamics with emphasis on convective dynamics and scale selection, turbulence, the excitation of the solar p-modes, and the origin of solar/stellar irradiance variations. Recently, he has investigated the properties of turbulent flows at small scales through numerical and analytical models of randomly distributed vortices. This work sheds light on the origin of the velocity and acceleration distributions in turbulent flow fields.

In addition to theoretical and computational work, he has been deeply involved in the analysis of solar observations made with the Precision Solar Photometric Telescope (PSPT) located at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) that obtains full disk images of the Sun with 0.1% photometric precision. Using these data he has investigated bright rings around sunspots, intensity fluctuations associated with solar supergranular flows, and mapped the latitudinal variation of the solar photospheric intensity.

Mark has lived in Colorado for over 20 years where he has helped his wife Kristie raise their family of four kids. He enjoys living in an old home in Erie where he grows fruits and vegetables and farms animals. He also has recently renewed a love of fishing.

Affiliate Scientist