'Our dynamic sun: sunspots and climate change'
This talk will explore the causes of solar activity, links with space weather and the climate.
The Sun goes through an 11 year cycle of activity. For the past few years it has been very quiet, but now it is becoming active again, heading for solar maximum, with an increase in the number of sunspots, active regions and solar flares. This cycle of activity can affect the Earth's environment in many ways. Scientists are monitoring the Sun from space, with several different spacecraft: Hinode, Stereo, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and most recently, the Solar Dynamics Observatory. This talk will explore the causes of solar activity, links with space weather and the climate, and what we are learning about the Sun from space observations in the ultraviolet and X-ray wavelength ranges.
Dr Helen Mason is a solar physicist and has worked on many space projects.In 2010, she was named as one of the 'Women of Outstanding Achievement' in recognition of her inspirational work in communication within Science, Engineering and Technology (SET). Helen has participated in many outreach projects and given science presentations to audiences at many venues, including at summer music festivals, with the Sunworshippers team at Glastonbury. She is internationally recognised as a researcher in atomic astrophysics and leads the Sun|Trek project (www.suntrek.org) which explores the Sun and its effects on the Earth.