Our lecture on 14th November concerns the Sun again, but this time from a different perspective. As the Sun emerges from the deepest minimum in a century, some scientists are beginning to suspect that we may be on the verge of another period of low solar activity like the Maunder Minimum. This was a period in the 17th century when the sunspot cycle seemed to be almost put on hold with many fewer sunspots even at the peaks of the 11 year cycle. This brought about "The Little Ice Age" during which Europe and North America had very cold winters. Certain irregularities in the way Solar Cycle 24 is developing look as if we may be about to experience something similar!
Dr Elliott is a leading Irish scientist who until recently worked at Dunsink Observatory. He trained as a solar physicist and spent several years on the research staff of Sacramento Peak Observatory, New Mexico, USA and also took part in site testing for the solar observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands. He has long been interested in the influence of solar activity on the Earth's climate and has written numerous articles on the history of astronomy in Ireland.
As usual, the meeting starts at 7:30pm sharp in the Bell Theatre at Queens University, Belfast