7th November 2005 Meeting Report

On Monday 7th November Dr Les Gornall gave an excellent lecture on “The Big Flash – The Largest Solar Flare – Is It Still With Us?” The Meeting started with the chairman Mark Stronge, who gave us a short guide into the current observing highlights. He then delivered a short profile on Les and the lecture began.

The first part of the lecture focused on the events of late October/early November 2003 when the Sun was very active. There were twelve X-class solar flares between October 19 and November 4. Eight of which came from one single sunspot region 10486. On October 28 a X17 solar flare, at the time one of the largest ever produced, came out of region 10486 and created fantastic auroral displays all over Ireland on the night of October 30. However more was to come.  On November 4 a X28 solar flare, the largest ever recorded, was produced, also from 10486, it exploded out partly in the direction of the Earth. It produced even more beautiful auroral displays, which were visible in Ireland.

The second part of the lecture dealt with a current scientific theory that the giant solar flare is still affecting the Earth two years on.

A lengthy and detailed question and answer session followed, given the interest in the lecture topic.



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