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Secrets of the Sun with Harry Roberts

Friday 15 April 2011 - 8:00pm
Topic: Secrets of the Sun
Speaker: Harry Roberts, ASNSW
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: The speaker began study of the sun in the H-alpha band on June 23, 2001. Within minutes the Lumicon filter had revealed prominences, surface filaments, and a small but brilliant flare. The filter worked!

I was not to know that the peak of flaring for solar cycle 23 lay two and a half years in the future (late 2003) and flaring would be sustained well into 2007. And over that time hundreds of flares and ejection events were to be logged – an extraordinary adventure in daytime astronomy.

The flaring of SC23 was probably the strongest for over a century – and was followed, quite unexpectedly, by the deepest minimum for a century - causing NASA to denounce the sun for “behaving unexpectedly”!

Solar cycle 24 is now well advanced, and a GOES X Class flare recently erupted; so activity is rising strongly. This, together with the fact that H-alpha equipment has never been cheaper, means that right now is the ideal time to enter the bizarre realm of H-alpha astronomy. There is more to be seen than you’d dare to imagine.

The Talk will cover:

  • Making a start: equipment and techniques
  • H-alpha features and how to recognise them
  • The coming maximum, what to expect
  • Solar magnetism and up-coming reversal of polar fields
  • On-line sites and freeware to support your efforts
  • And much more.
Event Date: 
Friday, 15 April, 2011 - 20:00

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