Late last year, scientists announced that out nearest star, the Sun, had started to show signs of increased activity and that a new solar cycle had started – the 25th since records began.
In this talk, solar physicist Professor Lucie Green will look into what drives the solar cycle, the regular pattern of activity our star goes through from slumber to turbulence, on average every 11 years. Delving deep beneath its visible surface she will explain the mechanisms within the Sun’s superheated sphere that drive these changes.
She’ll describe the signs that scientists look for in announcing the start of the new solar cycle, and the effect that this increased solar activity has on planet Earth and its inhabitants, picking out events from the solar record when the strong solar weather of previous solar cycles directly impacted life on Earth.
Also covered will be the missions observing the Sun from space, a fleet of spacecraft that includes the newly launched ESA Solar Orbiter and NASA Parker Solar Probe – the latter orbiting closer than ever before to the Sun’s seething surface and sending back spectacular insights into events such as solar flares and sunspots.
And there will also be a look ahead at whether it’s possible, at this early stage in solar cycle 25’s progress, to predict how strong a peak it will have and when it will be.
As always, you'll be able to submit your questions throughout the talk to be answered live in the second part of the presentation.
To buy a copy of Lucie's book, 15 Million Degrees: A Journey to the Centre of the Sun, click here - https://www.foxlanebooks.co.uk/product-page/15-million-degrees-a-journey-to-the-centre-of-the-sun