Merseyside Astronomy Day IV

These pages relate to the March 2009 MAD
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Speaker: Dr Lyndsay Fletcher

Lyndsay Fletcher Name: Dr Lyndsay Fletcher
Place: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow

Lyndsay did her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Glasgow, and after being awarded her PhD in 1993 left for the Netherlands where she worked for 5 years, at the University of Utrecht and the European Space Agency, including time spent at the US operations centre for the SOHO satellite. In 1998 she joined the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory in Palo Alto, California for a couple of years before returning to the University of Glasgow in 2000 as a research fellow and then a lecturer. She is now a Reader in Solar Physics, and her primary research interest is the observational and theoretical study of solar flares. She is enthusiastic about communicating solar physics to a wide audience, and is a frequent speaker at amateur astronomy societies and science festivals.

Talk: Storms on the Sun

LASCO Image of the Sun from 2000 Our nearest star, the Sun, provides the heat and light that we need on Earth to survive. Who would think, in the calmness of a summer sunset, that the Sun is also a hotbed of violent activity? Solar flares and solar coronal mass ejections are gigantic explosions on the Sun, caused by its strong magnetic field. 150 years ago the British scientist Richard Carrington made the first observation of a solar flare, and - although it was not believed at the time - what we now know to be the impact of the the flare and coronal mass ejection was detected at earth shortly afterwards as disturbances to our magnetic field, and spectacular auroral displays. We have learned a lot about the Sun's activity since then, and in this presentation I'll show some of the amazing images and movies from our latest generation of solar observatories and discuss what is known, and what remains to be understood, about the stormy Sun.

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