Solar Lecture and Annual General Meeting - Weds 18th April

Wednesday 18th April marks the date of the 44th Annual General Meeting of the Association. The purposes of the meeting are to review the activities of the past year, elect a new Council for the coming year and for the Council to receive feedback from the membership on how they - that's you - would like to see the Association develop.
 
We have also had a sub-committee sitting to decide whether or not the prestigious Aidan P Fitzgerald Award should be awarded this year, and if so, who the recipient should be. 
 
This award is given no more than once a year for "Outstanding Service to the Association" and is named after one of the leading members of the Association in the 1940s and 50s.
 
This year we are re-arranging the order of events in order to allow a very special guest to speak to us prior to the formal business.
 
TITLE: "The Eye of the Giant: Solving the Sun’s mysteries with the European Solar Telescope”
 
Let’s be honest: the Sun, when compared to other stars, is a pretty mediocre star. It is not very big, it is not very small. It is not very hot, it is not very cold. And it is in the middle of its life. But it is our own star, the one that gives us light and warmth, the star that gives us life. Life in planet Earth would not be possible without our Sun. In this talk we will travel through the wonders of our very own nuclear reactor. I will talk about how Earth — and indeed all of us — interacts with the Sun, about the so-called Space Weather, about the internal workings of the star and about what we still do not know about it. After one hundred years since the discovery of magnetic field in the Sun by George Ellery Hale, still many questions remain unanswered. In this context, the European Solar Telescope mega-project will help scientists to extract the smallest details of the Sun’s atmosphere and, hopefully, to give an answer to some of the long standing mysteries that surround the Sun. I will end the talk by giving a first hand insight on this 4-meter class european solar telescope that will use tomorrow’s technology to bring the Sun a little bit closer to us.
 
Dr Ada Ortiz is a researcher at the Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics of the University of Oslo. As a teenager, she loved Astronomy and wondering about what’s out there, and she would do whatever it takes to become a real astronomer. That’s why she took a BSc and a PhD in Physics at the University of Barcelona and became a Solar Physicist. Her PhD thesis was finalist for the AGU’s Scarf Award in 2004.
The topic of her PhD thesis was the variations on the observed solar irradiance due to magnetic activity present on the solar surface. Soon Ada moved towards observations of the Sun at very high spatial resolution and whatever spectropolarimetry techniques could tell us about the physical properties of the Sun’s atmosphere and its magnetism at the finest scales. Now she is focusing on the process of emergence of the magnetic field from the interior of the Sun upwards into the solar outer atmosphere and its effects in the Sun’s activity.
Her job has taken her to living in different places: the Rocky Mountains in Colorado (USA) for her first postdoc, Oslo (Norway), Granada (Spain) and now back to Oslo.
Ada is heavily involved in the European Solar Telescope project. She is a member of the EST Scientific Advisory Group (that will decide on the scientific questions to be tackled with EST) and has also an education & outreach component in her appointment as the scientific responsible for EST communications in Oslo.
When Ada is not scrutinizing the Sun, she can be found diving, skiing, or just enjoying the pleasures of life.
 
All are welcome, though of course only paid up members are eligible to vote on business matters. Doors open about 7.15pm. There is free parking available on the campus in the evenings. Admission Free, including light refreshments. We are located in the Bell Theatre, Department of Mathematics and Physics, QUB - details here......
 
With thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for assistance with this event.