A figure from a recent published paper by group members was chosen as cover image for this month’s volume of the Astronomy & Astrophysics journal. The image shows a map of heated plasma ejected from the corona and the paper (Hannah & Kontar, A&A v553 A10 2013) is focused on a method to obtain maps of the emission as a function of temperature from observations of a coronal mass ejection (CME) observed by NASA’s SDO/AIA.
We are deeply saddened to report that Professor Archie Roy passed away on December 27 aged 88. Most of the current A&A group knew Archie well, and we have lost a good friend. Archie was an active member of the group, well into his 80s. We will miss his humour, zestful enthusiasm and seemingly boundless energy in everything he did over a remarkable career.
A Memorial Service and Tribute to the late Professor Archie Roy will be held in Glasgow University Chapel on Thursday March 14 at 14.30 and will be followed by a reception in Hunter Hall West approx 15.30-17.00. All are welcome.
Update: Professor Archie Roy’s Memorial Service two weeks ago included a short film, made by his son Ian, showing photos from Archie’s life. The family has made the film available at
The Scottish Universities Physics Alliance and the Royal Royal Society of Edinburgh (Cormack Bequest) will hold a one-day Scottish astronomy meeting, SCAM2012, on Tuesday 13th November 2012 at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. More information is available here.
The programme is particularly relevant to research students and staff working in Scottish universities and gives the opportunity for them to meet, discuss research and hear about new developments in the field. Coffee and lunch are included.
There is no registration fee for this meeting, but if you plan on attending please complete the online registration form. There is the opportunity to present your work at a general interest level in a 20 minute talk, or, for more focussed research, through an extensive poster session which will be judged in a competition.
On June 5th and 6th 2012 the world will witness a very special astronomical event: a Transit of Venus across the disk of the Sun. Such transits are extremely rare: only six have been observed throughout recorded history and the next transit will not occur until 2117.
To mark the transit we are hosting a celebration at Glasgow University that will link up with transit observers around the world and (hopefully) culminate with observing the transit here in Glasgow early on June 6th. Also in recognition of the huge historical significance of this event and to mark the launch of Glasgow Science Festival 2012, you are warmly invited to join us for an all-night celebration of the Transit in Glasgow.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this event (or indeed in participating) the website is now up and running.
NASA’s Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) was launched 10 years ago on 5 Feb 2002. Its unprecedented view of the high energy X-ray and γ-ray emission from solar flares has provided many insights into these explosive phenomena. The Glasgow A&A group are heavily involved with analysing and interpreting the data from RHESSI, with these results recently reviewed by group members in the RHESSI monograph.
Congratulations to Professor John Brown who has been awarded the 2012 Royal Astronomy Society Gold Medal for Geophysics.
Professor John Brown, 10th Astronomer Royal for Scotland and former Regius Chair of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow is awarded the 2012 RAS Gold Medal for Geophysics.
Early in his career Professor Brown’s ‘collisional thick-target model’ led to a new paradigm for the production of X-rays by electrons in solar flares. Identifying the mechanism of electron acceleration remains a central and unsolved problem in solar activity and his seminal work on deriving the accelerated electron distributions from their observable X-ray emission is still the landmark paper in the field, cited over 600 times.
His leading role in NASA’s award-winning Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) mission is testament to his impact in high-energy solar physics, where his work encompasses the interpretation of the properties of X-ray signatures, the modelling of particle acceleration and transport in the solar atmosphere and the analysis of the response of the flaring solar atmosphere.
Throughout his distinguished and productive research career John has collaborated widely, and – especially in his role as Astronomer Royal for Scotland – has inspired the astronomical passions of thousands of people across the UK and overseas through presentations, in person and on television and radio.
For his outstanding work in research, leadership and outreach Professor Brown is awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Full RAS press release.
The European Space Agency has selected the Solar Orbiter Mission as one of its next two missions to fly. Several members of the A&A group are Co-Investigators on Solar Orbiter instruments, in particular on the STIX X-ray imager. The group’s involvement with Solar Orbiter and STIX continues a long history of pioneering research in solar physics (dating back to the first Regius Chair in 1760) and solar X-rays in particular – a heritage which includes Co-I-ship on NASA’s award-winning RHESSI mission. With an expected launch date of 2017, the Solar Orbiter carries several instruments deep into the inner solar system to co-rotate with the Sun, imaging activity on its surface and sampling its magnetic field and solar wind.
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